Numbers 292. Report of Colonel John W. Henagan,
Eighth South Carolina Infantry, of operations June 25-July 2, including engagement at Peach Orchard, or Allen's Farm, and battles of Savage Station and Malvern Hill.
HEADQUARTERS EIGHTH SOUTH CAROLINA REGIMENT,
July 14, 1862.
GENERAL: In obedience to orders I herewith transmit to you the operations of my command from June 25 to July 2 inclusive:
On the morning of June 25 I relieved Colonel Kennedy on outpost, having orders to support the pickets of General Semmes' brigade. All was quiet in the forenoon except occasional firing from the enemy's batteries in our front and on our left, which resulted in no damage.
Late in the afternoon heavy firing commenced upon our right, which drew from the enemy a terrific cannonading which lasted more than one hour, many of their shells exploding near my regiment, but without injury to any one. I deployed my regiment as soon as the firing commenced, expecting an attack, and supported the line of pickets until dark, when the firing ceased, and I withdrew a short distance and rested for the night.
I was relieved at 8 o'clock on the 26th by Colonel Aiken's (Seventh South Carolina) regiment, and returned to camp, where we remained until the morning of the 27th. I received orders at 12 o'clock to proceed to the outpost with my regiment. Having arrived there, I received orders to return to camp, which I did by the nearest route, the enemy in the mean time pouring a continuous fire upon my line, many of their shells exploding near my command.
About 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day I received orders to march again to the outpost, and, with my regiment and Colonel Aiken's (Seventh South Carolina) regiment, to feel the enemy immediately in front of the pickets of General Semmes' brigade. I deployed two companies from the Seventh and two from the Eighth South Carolina Regiments as skirmishers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Bland, of the Seventh South Carolina. The Seventh Regiment having been formed on the left of the Eighth, I ordered an advance of the whole line. We had proceeded but a short distance when the enemy's picket opened fire upon our skirmishers, which was promptly returned, my whole line continuing to advance steadily. As soon as the firing between the picket and skirmishers commenced the enemy opened fire with several pieces of cannon into the woods through which I was advancing, and threw immense quantities of grape, canister, and shell along the whole line. I advanced to within a short distance of the abatis in front of the enemy's intrenchments, where I halted the whole command. The fire of the enemy as we approached the abatis becoming very severe, I ordered the men to lie down, and remained in that position until I became satisfied that farther advance was impracticable. I then ordered the whole command to retire, which was executed in good order. The Eighth Regiment suffered no loss in this reconnaissance. For casualties in the Seventh I refer you to Colonel D. Wyatt Aiken's report of June-. [July 10?] I then returned to camp, reaching it at 10 p.m.
My command remained quietly in camp during the 28th, and received orders late at night to be ready to follow the enemy on the fol-