War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 0101 Chapter XXVI. ENGAGEMENT AT SECESSIONVILLE, S. C.

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ing this open marsh, and while placing the battalion in position on the outer edge of the woods, it was exposed to a terrific fire from the enemy's gunboats, siege battery, fixed batteries, and small-arms. I then ordered the men to advance in the skirt woods, the better to view the enemy and afford it protection from the incessant fire of the enemy. At this point for half an hour the fire on both sides was indeed terrific. Finally the enemy wavered, fell back, and then began his precipitate retreat on the right and in front. The gallant Lamar being struck down, and being the senior officer present I caused an incessant volley of grape and canister to be poured into the broken and retreating columns of the enemy until they passed beyond view. Colonel Goodltt, my senior officer, arriving about 12 m., assumed command.

I cannot speak in terms of too high praise of the coolness, bravery, and gallantry of the officers and men of my little command. I went into the action with 250 men and succeeded in putting to route twice that force of the enemy on the right. I think that this force of the enemy would undoubtedly have completely flanked the battery but for our timely arrival. The small band of brave men in the fort, exhausted and broken down in their almost superhuman exertions in repelling the foe in front, must have been unequal to the task of successfully engaging the enemy in front and on the right.

It is impossible to arrive at a correct list of the slain and wounded of the enemy, as in his retreat he bore off the field many of his dead and wounded; 168 of the enemy were buried on the field.

My battalion brought from the battle-field in front the following arms and accountermants, which have been delivered to the ordnance officer, viz:

Enfield rifles (in good condition)....................27

Enfield rifles (damaged).............................. 4

Rifled muskets (in good condition)....................83

Springfield muskets (in good condition)...............62

Springfield muskets (damaged)......................... 6

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Total.................................................182

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Cartridge boxes.......................................78

Saddles............................................... 2

These arms and accouterments were gathered on that part of the field in front. Troops belonging to other commands, I understand, picked up a great many arms and accouterments on the height across the march. I suppose the above arms are about one-third of the number captured.

The following is a list of casualties in my battalion, to wit:*

This report would have been made earlier, but now is the first opportunity since the battle that I have had to write it.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

J. MCENERGY,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Fourth Louisiana Battalion.

Captain MALLORY P. KING,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

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*Embodied in Report Numbers 24, p. 90.

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