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[363] Confederate force on duty at Grahamville was a part of a squadron of the Third South Carolina Cavalry. All available troops in the district had been sent into the interior to oppose General Sherman's advance. Colonel C. J. Colcock, the district commander, was fifty miles away, superintending the erection of field works at the principal crossings of the Savannah river. The Federals having landed at Boyd's Neck at eight o'clock on the morning of the 29th of November, at a remove of only seven miles from the railroad, and there being at the time no Confederate forces in the neighborhood capable of successfully disputing their advance, had they moved promptly upon Grahamville the Charleston and Savannah railroad would, beyond doubt, have passed into their possession. During the whole of the 29th they were engaged, however, in intrenching themselves at a point distant half a mile from where they landed, and thus the golden opportunity was suffered to pass unimproved.

Colonel Colcock arrived at Grahamville about seven o'clock on the morning of the 30th, and an hour afterwards General Smith, with his leading brigade, was on the ground. Advices were received that the Federal column, marching up the Honey Hill road, had passed Bolan's Church, and was then only five miles from Grahamville. A line of breastworks, previously constructed for the use of infantry and field artillery, being equi-distant between Grahamville and the church, it became all-important that the advance of the enemy should be retarded in order that the Confederates might occupy those works. With this view Colonel Colcock pushed rapidly forward with a 12-pounder Napoleon gun of Kanapaux's Light Battery, under command of Lieutenant Zealy, and Company K, of the Third South Carolina Cavalry, Captain Peeples. He encountered the head of the Federal column on a causeway a mile and a half in front of the breastworks. It was a favorable position for impeding the enemy's progress. On the left was an impenetrable swamp, and on the right an extensive old field intersected by numerous canals and ditches. Lieutenant Zealy's 12-pounder Napoleon was planted so as to command the causeway, and Captain Peeple's company was dismounted and deployed as skirmishers across the old field. The first shell from the Napoleon gun is said to have killed and wounded nine men of the enemy. In the face of this opposing fire the Federal column halted, and, after some delay, abandoned the highway. A considerable force was detached, which commenced marching across the old field with a view to flanking the Confederate position. To counteract this movement, Colonel Colcock

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