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[364] ordered his men to set fire to the broom-sedge, which was dry and covered the entire field. A strong wind, then prevailing and blowing in the direction of the enemy, carried down upon them, with surprising rapidity, a fierce line of flame and smoke before which they precipitately retreated; in their flight abandoning blankets, haversacks and knapsacks. Reforming in the road, the Federals advanced, Colonel Colcock retiring with his little command and disputing their progress from time to time as opportunity occurred.

Meanwhile General Smith had fully occupied the breastworks, and completed his dispositions. To Colonel Colcock, the district commander, was assigned the general charge of the main line.

The engagement commenced about ten o'clock in the morning, and from that time until nearly dark the enemy made repeated but fruitless efforts to carry the Confederate position. The Confederates brought into action five pieces of field artillery and about fourteen hundred effective muskets. There were also three companies and two detachments of the Third South Carolina Regiment of Cavalry, under Major Jenkins.1 The Confederate line of battle extended from the Honey-Hill road, on which its right rested in a semicircu-lar form through an open pine barren to the Coosawhatchie road.

At a remove of one hundred and fifty yards in front of the Confederate line and extending almost its entire length, was a low, swampy ground, about twenty yards wide. As the head of the Federal column appeared at a curve in the Honey-Hill road, less than two hundred yards in advance of the field works occupied by the Confederates, it encountered a murderous fire of artillery and musketry before which it recoiled.

1 The following organizations were present on this memorable occasion, and constituted the little Confederate army charged with driving back a Federal force more than three times as numerous:

Infantry.—The First Brigade Georgia Militia, Colonel Willis; the State Line Brigade (Georgia), Colonel Wilson; the Seventeenth Georgia, Confederate Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Edwards; the Thirty-second Georgia, Confederate Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Bacon; the Athens Battalion, Major Cook; the Augusta Battalion, Major Jackson.

Cavalry.—Companies B and E, and detachments from Company C and the Rebel Troop, all belonging to the Third Regiment South Carolina Cavalry, under command of Major Jenkins.

Artillery.—A section of the Beaufort Artillery, Captain Stuart; a section of De Pass's Light Battery; a section of the Lafayette Artillery; one gun from Kanapaux's Light Battery.

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