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[622] enemy, while I took position on the Mackey's Point road, near Dr. Hutson's residence, at a salt marsh skirted by woods on both sides and crossed by a causeway. After a short encounter with the enemy, in which Major Morgan, while at the head of his command, was severely wounded in the ankle, my advance force retired in good order to the main position. The Beaufort artillery was posted in and near the road commanding the causeway, and the Nelson artillery in an open field in the rear of the line of skirmishers and screened from the enemy by the trees in front. A dropping fire of infantry first commenced, which was soon swelled by their artillery. Owing to the close proximity of the trees fringing the other side of the swamp, I found that my artillery were suffering severely in men and horses, and, accordingly, after holding my ground for three-quarters of an hour, I determined to withdraw to a second position two miles and a half in rear. This was done in good order, Captain Allston's sharpshooters and part of Company 1, Eleventh infantry, covering our retreat and behaving for the most part with great spirit. At the head of the road I was joined by Captain Trenholm with the larger portion of his company and Captain Kirk's. I assigned the command of the cavalry to him, and ordered my whole force to move back across Pocotaligo Bridge and take up a position among the houses and scattered trees of the hamlet.

The artillery was placed in position to command the bridge and causeway — the Charleston light dragoons being held in reserve. The bridge was ordered to be torn up; and this was scarcely done when the enemy appeared in sight and commenced a continuous and rapid fire of musketry and rifled guns. Lieutenant Massie, of the Nelson artillery, could bring only one piece of his battery into action, owing to the original smallness of his company, now greatly reduced by deaths and wounds.

Two pieces of the Beaufort artillery were silenced by the disabling of the gunners; the remaining two kept up a fire to the close of the fight. The enemy's artillery was entirely silenced and withdrawn early in the action. One piece of the Beaufort Artillery was most judiciously withdrawn during the battle and posted three hundred yards on my right under Sergeant-Major Fuller. It was retired by a crossroad unseen by the enemy, and had all the effect of a reinforcement from its new and unexpected position. It fired spherical case, and the practice was excellent

At the crisis of the fight I ordered up the Charleston Light Dragoons. That gallant corps came forward with an inspiriting shout and took position on my left which wanted strengthening.

I had been notified by telegraph that reinforcements were on the way from Charleston and Savannah and Adams' Run. The Nelson battalion of two hundred men, Captain Slight commanding, was the only reinforcement that arrived in time for the fight, about an hour and a half before its close.

As soon as this corps made its appearance near the field, I ordered one-half to a position commanding a causeway some six hundred yards on my right, to protect my flank; and the remainder was deployed to the front to relieve my exhausted men. The arrival of this battalion gave me assurance of victory; I felt perfectly certain of success.

The two companies sent to my right under Captain Brooks were well handled; one was deployed as skirmishers and subjected to a scattering fire. Their appearance threatened the enemy's flank, and no doubt hastened his retreat.

The enemy continued their fire until six o'clock P. M., when it slackened and ceased. I then sent a squad of six men of the Rutledge Mounted Riflemen over the bridge to ascertain the position of the enemy. The bridge was in so damaged a condition that it was some time before the infantry could cross.

The cavalry were obliged to make a circuit of five miles to reach the head of the road by which the enemy had retreated. This enabled them to retire unmolested. As soon as the cavalry arrived, I sent two companies, Rutledge Mounted Riflemen, Lieutenant L. I. Walker commanding, and Captain Kirk's Partisan Rangers, to follow up the retreat. I was reluctant to send a larger force, as I did not know the result of the contest at Coosawhatchie, and from the telegraph wire being cut, was fearful it was disastrous to our arms. A locomotive was despatched from Pocotaligo Station by my Aid, Mr. R. M. Fuller, and two couriers by myself to that point to reconnoitre, while I held my force at the junction of the Mackey's Point and Coosawhatchie roads, ready to operate either way. The cavalry had proceeded but two and a half miles in pursuit when they were stopped by a bridge completely torn up and destroyed by the enemy in their flight. This could not be repaired until morning. There were abundant evidences that the retreat of the enemy was precipitate and disordered. One hundred small arms were picked up and a considerable amount of stores and ammunition. The road was strewn with the debris of the beaten foe. Forty-six of the enemy's dead were found on the battle-field and roadside. Seven fresh graves were discovered at Mackey's Point. I estimated their total killed and wounded at three hundred.

The fight, from the first fire of our advance to the final retreat of the enemy, lasted from half past 11 o'clock A. M. to six o'clock P. M. We have ample reason to believe that our small force not only fought against great odds, but against fresh troops brought up to replace those first engaged. The entire command had been earnestly warned in orders not to waste their fire. This caution was urged upon them during the action by the commanding officer, his aids, and the company officers. I am satisfied, from my own observation, they fired with care and

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E. N. Kirk (2)
R. M. Fuller (2)
L. I. Walker (1)
W. L. Trenholm (1)
Slight (1)
B. W. Rutledge (1)
G. W. Nelson (1)
John H. Morgan (1)
F. T. Massie (1)
Hutson (1)
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