About one hour and a half after the engagement commenced the enemy landed, under cover of their fire, at Oyster Point, between 2,000 and 3,000 strong, and a destructive fire was directed against them by our batteries. They were promptly met by the infantry force under Major McIver, and held in check until a like force was landed in front of the batteries under cover of the bank of the creek the tide being low. At this time a portion of Nelson's battalion came up. I hurried them to the support of the batteries under cover of the bank of the creek, the tide being ow. At this time a portion of Nelson's battalion came up. I hurried them to the support of the batteries. They did not get in position, however for the front line of our works was in the possession of the enemy and one-half of the force under the command of Major McIver was either killed or wounded, and more than half of the officers I then ordered the whole force to retire, which they did in order, firing as they retreated. When about half way back to Battery Wagner the rest of Nelson's battalion came up. I had them formed in line of battle to cover the retreat. The iron monitors followed us along the channel, pouring into us a fire of shell and grape. When the exhausted and wounded had got sufficiently to the rear, I them ordered the whole to retire to Battery Wagner.
The Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers lost in killed, wounded, and missing 183. Captain Haskell's company lost 12. The artillery command lost 100.*
Of the whole command, I must say that they fought bravely and well. Many individual acts of gallantry could be mentioned, but where all did well it would be invidious to report them. I cannot, however, fail to mention the gallant conduct of Captain W. E. Stoney, acting assistant adjutant-general, to the command.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. F. GRAHAM,
Colonel Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers, Commanding
Captain W. F. NANCE,
HEADQUARTERS FORT JOHNSON,
July 18, 1863
CAPTAIN: I beg leave to submit the following report of the assault made by the enemy on Battery Wagner on the morning of the 11th instant:
My command consisted of the Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers, about 200 men under the command of Major McIver; Seventh South Carolina Battalion, about 300 men under the command of Major [J. H.] Rion; four companies First (Volunteers) Georgia, Colonel [C. H.] Olmstead; four companies Twelfth Georgia Battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel [H. D.] Capers, and three companies Eighteenth Georgia Battalion, Major [W. S.] Basinger, the three detachments numbering about 500 men, all under the command of Colonel Olmstead; a detachment of Company D, First South Carolina [Regular] Infantry [Third Artillery], numbering 20 men, under the command of Lieutenant [J. Moultrie] Horlbeck. The artillery force consisted of Companies E, I, and H, First South Carolina Artillery numbering about 70 men, under the command of Captain Mitchel; the Gist Guard, Captain [C. E.] Chichester; the Mathewes Artillery, Captain [J. R.] Mathewes, numbering 100 men, all under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Yates.
*See p. 406.