War of the Rebellion: Serial 020 Page 1003 Chapter XXVI. ENGAGEMENT AT SECESSIONVILLE, S. C.

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aiming light, and with guns loaded." By Colonel Hawley's letter it appears that General Stevens "ordered him not to load;" that before his column moved to the causeway and picket line it was light sight of the work, "to see a man at that distance," as he estimated, "700 yards;" that the brigades (of three regiments each) were ordered up (and, of course, by the commander, General Stevens) in brigade line on this converging piece of guard between the two marshes, by which "four out of the six" regiments "were sent clear of the works into the marsh;" that General Stevens was not on the ground to rectify the error, but at Legare's house in rear (which is seven-eights of a mile from the fort); that Colonel Fenton came up while Colonel Hawley was extricating his men from the marsh, and ordered him across the fort of fire of the fort, within 120 and "advancing steadily," to support the Eighth Michigan and Seventy-ninth New York, then (as Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison, of the Seventy-ninth, told me) in the ditch awaiting this support for the next assault, Captain Stevens galloped up, and, in General Stevens' name, ordered the men back, and this when the guns of the fort were silenced and the advance were only awaiting this support. This shows fully that General Stevens disobeyed my orders as to the loading of the muskets and as to the starting hour, for it was, in fact, after sunrise when the fort opened on him; that he most injudiciously arranged his troops for the assault, and, remaining himself about seven-eights of a mile in the rear, he did not and could not correct that bad arrangement; and that when the regiments had recovered from the confusion and were advancing to support the men at the parapet and ditch, his son and assistant adjutant-general came forward and ordered them back, thus giving up all the chances of success to the affair. Colonel Hawley stated to me, verbally, that he judged it to be only about ten minutes from the time he first met the obstruction of the marsh in his advance till he was ordered back by Captain Stevens; also that he never saw General Stevens "more than 2 rods in front" of the road at Legare's house.

The published rebel accounts state (from Charleston Mercury, in New York Journal of Commorce, of June 26, 1862):

But 25 of the garrison were awake. It was a complete surprise, and nothing but the nerve and promptitude of the officers, especially the commanding officers, saved the battery from easy capture. The first round was fired when the column was within 30 yards of the guns; the wearied men, startled by the sound or aroused by shakes or bayonet punches from the officers, going to their guns.

And to this it need simply be remarked, if the attack after sunrise was such a surprise, how more completely successful must it have been if executed when ordered at daylight.

It may be added in reference to General Wright's delay, that Captain J. Hamilton (General Wright's chief of artillery) states in letters of November 19 and 20, 1862, that six pieces of his artillery were posted at the Haulover Cut on the afternoon and evening of June 2, and that the two remaining pieces were across the Edisto the same evening about 8 p. m., and started at 1 a. m. of the 3rd to join him at the Cut, as they did about 7 a. m. This shows that all General Wright's artillery were over, as Colonel Hawley states all his infantry was across and at the Haulover Cut.

Further, in reference to the statement of General Hunter, in letter of July 10, that the three officers all "represented the movement as one almost impossible of accomplishment," I will state positively that to a remark of mine to General Wright, that I felt "the attack must be a