Numbers 31. Report of Colonel C. H. Stevens, Twenty-fourth South Carolina Infantry.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FOURTH REGIMENT S. C. VOLS.,
James Island, S. C., June 18, 1862.
COLONEL: In obedience to orders I beg to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the battle of Secessionville on the morning of he 16th instant:
Seven companies of the Twenty-fourth Reigment South Carolina Volunteers, with six companies of First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers and one from the Forty-seventh Georgia Regiment, constituted the picket force placed under my command, and with which I went on duty on Sunday, 15th instant. This force covered our whole picket line except hat in front of Secessionville, which was guarded by pickets from the force stationed at that post. All remained quiet along the line during the day and night, and at daylight I rode to Newton Cut with a view to visit and inspect the pickets. On reaching that point I distinctly heard the guns of the enemy in front of Secessionville, and start don my return to that point. On my way I encountered a courier with he intelligence that the enemy had advanced in large force to storm our works at Secessionville. This information I immediately forwarded to yourself and to the headquarters of the brigadier-general commanding, proceeding myself to the front to verify the statement. In passing I took portions of four companies of my regimen, which happened to be on duty in that vicinity, and moved them int he direction of the abatis of felled timber extending on the left of the Battery Island road. I ordered Captain Wever (Company I) to occupy this abatis to prevent the enemy from penetrating it with his skirmishers. The detachment of my other three companies, viz, Company D, Captain Gooding; Company G, Lieutenant Hamiter, and Company K, Captain Tompkins, numbering less than 100 men, were posted in heavy thicket extending from the abatis to the marsh on the left. On taking this position I found the enemy ran up in line of battle at Hill's houses, to my right and front. With my weak force this position could only be defensive, and I rode back to ask for artillery and support, which were brought up by you.
As all of the subsequent events passed under your ow observation it is unnecessary to report them, except that I would especially emotion Captain Tompkins, Co. K, Lieutenant Beckham, of Co. G, and the detachments from these two companies, who held their position gallantly in the front and did excellent service until ordered to withdraw.
Lieutenant-Colonel Capers, my second in command, having been sent by you to order fire to be opened from the new 24-pounder battery in advance of our lines, was retained by General Evans at that post, and directed the fire of the battery with his usual gallantry and efficiency. Major Hammond remained at his post in charge of the picket on the Gill road and Newtown Cut. After the enemy had left the field I returned to my picket duties until regularly relieved.
I append a list of the casualties in my own reigment.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
C. H. STEVENS,
Colonel Twenty-fourth South Carolina Volunteers Regiment.
Colonel JOHNSON HAGOOD,
First South Carolina Vol. Regiment, Commanding Advanced Forces.
*Nominal list omitted. Losses embodied in Report Numbers 24, p. 90.