but so great was the confusion caused by our fire, this large, wellequipped regiment failed to rally, broke and fled from the field in the utmost confusion, leaving their guns, knapsacks, and dead and wounded in large numbers on the field. We succeeded in capturing 11 prisoners, among them Captain Bowen, of Rhode Island, who had been slightly wounded in the action.
In the engagement I am happy to report the uniform good conduct of both officers and men. Early in the action the color-bearer (Malone, of Company B) was shot down. The standard was caught up by Private Clinkscales, of Company d, and borne through the fight. I also received a slight wound in the throat, which, fortunately, did not disable me from continuing in command.
During the latter part of the engagement the regiment was much annoyed by the enemy's sharpshooters on the hill to our right. In order to save the command from the fire, I ordered Captain Robertson, of Company B, who occupied the right of the regiment, to detach his company and take such position as would enable him to dislodge them and silence their fire. This order was promptly and effectively obeyed, and we were thus for a time saved from this annoyance.
The battle closed a little before sundown. The regiment held the battle-field, and, with the killed and wounded of the enemy around us, we awaited orders. About this time General Gregg, in person, rode in front of our line and ordered me to hold the position which I had gained. We slept on the field, having secured our lines by a strong picket guard, under the immediate command of Captain Miller, of Company G.
In this engagement we had only 1 man killed with-wounded, most of them slightly. This inconsiderable loss, in my judgment, is attributable to the prompt and effective fire of the regiment.
During the day (Thursday) we held our position of the night previous. In the morning I found the enemy had placed his sharpshooters under cover of a fence on our right and in front. We were annoyed by this fire during the day. As I had received orders early in the morning to do nothing to bring on a general engagement, I refrained from any attempt to dislodge them. During this day I had 1 man killed.
At 11 o'clock Thursday night I was ordered to call in my pickets and silently retire from the field,which I successfully did, after having held it for near thirty-six hours.
In this engagement I acknowledge my indebtedness to the officers of the regiment for the vigor and promptness with which they carried out my orders, and to the men for the spirit with which they executed them.
I herewith inclose reports of the strength of the regiment as it went into action, with a list of the killed and wounded. It is also my unpleasant duty to inclose a list as disgraceful and infamous as the other is honorable and glorious. There are those who bear the name of soldier who have deserted their colors and their comrades in the hour of danger,who have cowardly failed to participate in the glorious achievements which will make a name for the regiment and adorn the State from which we came. I herewith inclose a list* of those who were absent from this battle without the proper leave.
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. M. PERRIN,
Lieutenant-Colonel First South Carolina Rifles.
First South Carolina Rifles.