The battle on James Island.
brilliant Confederate victory.
[correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch.]
Charleston, June 20, 1862.
The late battle in the vicinity of this city was a far more brilliant and important affair than at first supposed.
The enemy were so badly beaten that they have not fired a shot from their gunboats or batteries since, though previous to the fight they kept up a constant cannonade day and right.
Considering the number of troops engaged on our side, and the length and fierceness of the combat, the battle is one of the most remarkable of the war. The rout of the invaders was complete.
They abandoned their dead and fled in wild confusion to their gunboats.
Tow of their regiments — the 79th New York, (Highlanders,) and one from Michigan
, fought well.
One company of the former penetrated as far as our breastworks, and its captain was killed while mounting them aparts.
The enemy had five regiments in the fight.
Our force engaged consisted of three companies of South Carolina artillery--the Charleston battalion, which numbered only 150 men; the Eutaw
battalion, 400 strong.
and Col. MeEnery
's Louisiana battalion.
Other regiments came to the relief of these troops; but most of the fighting was already over.
It will be seen, therefore, that the enemy outnumbered us two or three to one.
Their greatest loss was occasioned in attempting to storm our entrenchments, behind which Col. Lamer
's artillery was stationed.
was the hero of the battle.
He was severely wounded.
also deserves great praise.
He led his Louisianians fearlessly into the fight, with the watchword, ‘"Remember Butler
Every day's exploration of the surrounding woods reveals additional dead of the enemy.
It has been ascertained that a body of the Federals
attempted to cross a swamp, where many of them stuck fast in the mud and were killed and wounded by our shells.
Finally, the tide came up and drowned both dead and wounded.
Two hundred and fifty of the enemy have already been buried by our troops, and fifty additional dead bodies were discovered yesterday.
The total loss of the enemy in the battle cannot be far from--
|Killed and left on the field||300|
|Wounded and dead carried off of the field, estimated at||700|
|Total loss of the enemy||1130|
|The Confederate loss in this glorious victory is --Killed||48|
|Total Confederate loss||154|
The enemy's attack was a surprise to our troops.
Had a competent Confederate General been on the field and some plan of action arranged, the whole of the enemy's attacking force might have been cut off. As it was the greater part of the battle was fought by the rank and file ‘"on their own book."’ We have four Confederate Generals
in this quarter, but not one was in command.
To the rank and file, then, be the glory given of having achieved one of the most brilliant successes of the war. If the Confederate Government is looking for material for more.
, let promotion fall upon the lion hearted Col. Lamar
, who defended the entrenchments and the gallant and chivalrous McEnery
, who, like Blucher
, came into the field just in the nick of time.
Since the battle, the enemy have been entrenching themselves silently at the lower end of Juices Island.
As their plan of assault has proved impracticable, it is presumed they will be contented here after to advance by regular approaches — that is. If they are permitted to do so. Prisoners state that there are nine Federal regiments on the island, and that Gen. Isaac I. Stevens
, of Oregon
, (the Chairman
of the Breckinridge National Committee in the last Presidential campaign.) is in command.
This man Stevens
processed to be an ardent pro slavery man before the war, and was here in Charleston
, enjoying its hospitalities, only two years ago.
There is much dissatisfaction here with the military authorities of the department, and a strong wish expressed for a change in the commanding officer
The South Carolina
troops are anxious to defend Charleston
, and will do so successfully if they are permitted to. A report that we were to have the great services of Beauregard
spread universal joy among the troops.
If however, we cannot have Beauregard
, we would be glad to get Huger
of N. C.
, Joseph R. Anderson
, or any other first class General.
change of some kind is necessary to restore confidence to the troops and people.