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[238] were bounded on both sides. Back of this line there were other breastworks and rifle-pits, which overlooked the interior of the redoubt. The latter was covered in front by large abatis; but a little beyond, the peninsula was intersected by two transversal hedges, with banquette and double ditch, capable of affording shelter to the assailants. The ground, formerly devoted to cottonraising, was deeply ravined by transversal furrows. Colonel Lamar occupied this position with one or two regiments. The remainder of Evans' troops had been posted by General Pemberton, who was in charge of the defence of Charleston, upon the summit of a slight prominence in the ground, which, originating back of St. John's Creek, extended across the whole island, commanding the entire country as far as the Federal camps, situated between four and a half and five miles from Secessionville.

Benham, thinking that he would be able to surprise the enemy in these positions, put his troops in motion on the 16th of June, at two o'clock in the morning. Stevens' division, numbering three thousand four hundred men, was to make an assault upon Battery Lamar, while a few gun-boats, ascending Secession Creek, were to attack them in the rear. Wright's division and Williams' brigade were charged to cover the left flank of the assailants against any offensive movement from the rest of the enemy's line.

The troops were on the march at the appointed hour, the Eighth Michigan forming the advance of Stevens' division. Although the Confederates had got wind of this movement, and although, anticipating the attack, Evans had sent reinforcements to the defenders of Secessionville, which raised their number to three thousand, the latter allowed themselves to be taken completely by surprise, and their grand guards were captured without resistance. The Union troops, young and inexperienced, behaved like veterans in this first attack, owing probably to their very ignorance of the danger they had to encounter. They advanced with the bayonet without firing a shot, and had already passed the last hedge, situated some five hundred yards from the work, before its defenders had become aware of their approach. Colonel Lamar had scarcely collected a few men, and fired his siege-gun once, when the assailants were already in the ditch. One of the most sanguinary close combats was engaged on the parapet itself; it was five o'clock in

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