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[241] fully ascertained at first,) in carrying out, wilfully or otherwise, his original proposition in council, of an attack by daylight with unloaded muskets, (against the express orders of General Benham,) caused the failure of this attack. That our men were unnecessarily slaughtered in open daylight; and that by the consequent withdrawal of the troops from James Island by General Hunter, we have given up the only sure hold we had upon the city of Charleston, and of which three times the number of men cannot now obtain possession. It only remains to be seen, whether the unfounded assertion of General Hunter, who acts from the impulse of the moment only, that his order had been disobeyed by an officer with whom he had the most cordial relations up to that moment, and who had concurred most fully in these orders, who claims a threefold previous approval of that movement by General Hunter; or if the positive disobedience of that officer's orders of a junior, by which a well-laid plan for a vital object has miscarried; shall destroy an experienced officer who has commanded in the greater portion of five or six important actions, (beside many skirmishes,) and previously always successful; or whether all our other generals are to be warned by his fate, that they must always wait for the most positive orders, wait for an attack, and do the least possible with the troops that are intrusted to their command. Or whether an enthusiastic, daring officer is to be encouraged in his earnest efforts to make the most efficient use of his troops toward the termination of this terrible war.

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James Island (South Carolina, United States) (1)

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Morton C. Hunter (3)
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