War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0029 Chapter XXVI. SKIRMISH ON JAMES ISLAND, S. C.

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engagement Brigadier-General Mercer arrived and assumed command and made the subsequent disposition of the forces.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major J. R. WADDY,

Asst. Adjt. General, Dept. South Carolina and Georgia.

Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Ellison Capers, Twenty-fourth South Carolina Infantry.


James Island, S. C., June 10, 1862.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report the details of the recent engagement with the enemy's advance at Legare's place, below Secessionville, on the 3rd instant:

In obedience to your direction I left the camp before daylight with four companies of the Twenty-fourth, the Marion Rifles, Pee Dee Rifles, Evans Guard, and Colleton Guard, to remove the guns of Captain Chichester's battery, which were bogged in the marsh at the causeway below Rivers'. Arrived at Secessionville, it was reported to me by Colonel Lamar that our pickets had been driven in to Rivers' and that the guns were covered by the enemy. I reported this to the general, who ordered me to take my companies and drive him back until the fire of his boats obliged me to withdraw. I moved down to Rivers' and found the picket force, consisting of the Beauregard Light Infantry and the Charleston Riflemen, at that head of the causeway, facing Legare's; threw out the Marion Rifles, Captain Sigwald, as skirmishers, and ordered him to push on and draw the fire of the enemy. This was well and promptly done, the Marions soon occupying the pines and the enemy's skirmishers retiring. I crossed the causeway by flank and deployed on the other side, throwing my companies forward on the right, when we engaged the enemy warmly until, our fire becoming too severe, he fell back to the edge of the wood on this side of Legare's old field.

After a half hour's firing in this position we moved into the wood and drove through, the enemy retreating across the old field to the houses beyond. Our way was now unobstructed, the enemy occupying the Legare houses beyond and the long hedge to the east of them, from which he poured in a strong fire, most of which passed entirely over us. A regiment, which I afterward ascertained to be the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, constituted his reserve, and was posted below the negro houses, a quarter of a mile to the south. I determined, by a rapid charge on the main buildings, to cut off the advance from this support, the only difficulty being that at Legare's we would be open to the river and within a half mile. but I resolved to attempt it. Just at this period Lieutenant-Colonel Gaillard with his command, about 124 strong, reported to me and I assigned him a position, and ordered the Evans Guard, Captain Gooding; Charleston Riflemen, Lieutenant Lynch; Irish Volunteers, Captain Ryan; Beauregard Light Infantry,