arly, Colonel Williams, or rather Lieutenant-Colonel Sargent, the colonel acting as brigadier-general.
On Thursday morning, June 5, at 2 o'clock, the troops were ready to move; at 2.30 we started. The Third New Hampshire led; next came a section of artillery; then my command. It was very cloudy and dark, and soon after we moved a very heavy rain began, which continued, with slight intervals of drizzling, until we reached Legeraville. I think I came up to the village about 9.30 a. m.; you assigned us quarters.
While we staid at Haulover, the enemy's mounted scouts were several times seen, and we confidently expected opposite in our march of 13 miles to Legareville. We met none whatever, but we heard afterward that a considerable force of the enemy came down there the day after we left.
Some of your questions were concerning the fight near Secessionville, division (called the Second until about the 20th of June, when it became the First). The First Brigade was composed of the Eighth Michigan, Colonel Fenton, commanding the brigade; the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, and the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts; the Second [Brigade], the Seventy-ninth New York, One hundredth Pennsylvania, Colonel Leasure, commanding the brigade, and the Forty-sixth New York.
Late at night, June 15, I received orders to form my regiment on the color line at 1 a. m. of the coming morning, in light marching order, with 60-rounds per man and one day's cooked rations, and there await orders. The [order] was precisely and punctually obeyed. I was then ordered to wait until the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts moved, and to follow it. I obeyed, and it was between 1.30 and 2 when we took the road behind them. On coming to Colonel Fenton's, we exchanged places with the Twenty-eighth, and became the second regiment, the Eighth Michigan taking the lead. During the halt in the field just east of Colonel Fenton's headquarters, I received orders from General Stevens himself; also from Colonel Fenton, through his aide, Lieutenant Belcher, not to load, to move in perfect silence, and to trust to the bayonet. Before this, I had ascertained that the Eighth Michigan had loaded, and I had followed its example. I so stated, and was told positively not to fire. I asked if no discretion was left me, and was told (this was by Mr. Belcher) that, in the last emergency, I might do as I pleased in self-defense.
The line moved till the head rested near the causeway. While waiting here, I was instructed, through Lieutenant Belcher, to be ready when the proper time came to move into line on the Eight Michigan, and to watch and guard against any movement of the enemy on its left. Shortly after, the division started in perfect silence, crossed the causeway, passed through a field, then took into and through a cornfield. Near the eastern edge of this stood a house, used as a hospital during the fight, and, at its close, burned. I have made a very rough sketch of the ground where our division fought, and refer to it.* Near this house the enemy's pickets fired into the Eighth Michigan, and were captured. The Eighth started forward with a prolonged yell, and we kept close behind. As I passed through the hedge, at A, I received word from Lieutenant Belcher to move on the right into line. I observed the Eighth Michigan getting into line as at C, and my regiment hurried on at the double-quick, over the cotton rows, by companies, as indication at B, soon getting a good line as at D, at which time the
*See p. 1009.