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[84] straight to the front, to find the enemy, was every man's purpose. Arriving in view of the landing, this handful of soldiers deployed to observe the Federal troops, and every hour a courier rode to district headquarters at Grahamville, with information of the enemy's movements. This was telegraphed to the department headquarters at Charleston and Savannah by Lientenant Fraser, assistant adjutant-general, 3d military district. This landing of the Federal army, it should be noted, was known at department headquarters in Charleston and Savannah at 10 o'clock A. M. on the 29th.

The Federal army passed the entire day of the 29th in landing horses for their cavalry and field pieces, guns, military stores, etc., and their large infantry force, a total of 5,500 to 6,000 men. Their several commands began advancing in the afternoon, some, by mistake, as it appears, towards the Bee's Creek battery, covering the railroad at Coosawhatchie, but the main body took the old Savannah stage road, and occupied the ground for more than a mile and up to Bolan's Church. Captain Raysor, a meritorious and gallant officer, commanding Company E, of the 3d, met and checked this movement on the Bee's creek side; Captain Peeples and Company K retired slowly before the larger force, and bivouacked between Bolan's Church and the Honey Hill breastworks, passing the night in close observation of the enemy.

With the early dawn of the ever memorable 30th of November it was clearly ascertained that the whole Federal force would move on Grahamville; it was as clearly realized that a grave responsibility had to be met by Captain Peeples. His 75 men had increased during the afternoon and night to about 100; vedettes from various posts in the neighborhood, headquarters' details, men on furlough, did not wait for orders, but started for Boyd's as soon as they heard that the enemy was landing.

If there is anything higher in military character and conduct than these individual soldiers, instinctively riding from separate points toward the enemy, during the afternoon, night and early morning of November 29 and 30, I have never heard of it. Captain Peeples and Company K had done the same thing in a body in the morning.

Captain Peeples was reinforced, first with a gun from Kanapaux's Lafayette Artillery, under Lieutenant C. J. Zealey, and later a gun from Earle's battery, under Lieutenant Graham, both brave and skillful officers, with detachments of undaunted artillerists, ready like the dismounted cavarly, with their rifles, to make the last sacrifice, if necessary, but the enemy was to be held in check till the


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W. B. Peeples (4)
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