War of the Rebellion: Serial 046 Page 0586 S. C. AND GA. COASTS, AND IN MID. AND E. FLA. Chapter XL.

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Numbers 3. Reports of Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, C. S. Army, commanding on James Island.


James Island, July 18, 1863.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the operations of the troops under my command on the 16th instant:

I had been instructed in the day previous to observe and report the possibility of offensive operations against the enemy in my front, and had reported two plans. The one which limited to driving in their pickets on the left and making a reconnaissance of that part of their line, with the further object of capturing or destroying the part of their force nearest Grimball's, was the one approved.

The enemy occupied Battery Island and Legare's planation, principally, and a part of Grimball's, while their gunboats lay in the Stono and Folly Rivers, giving a cross-fire in front of their position extending as far as our picket line. General Colquitt was ordered with about 1,400 infantry and a battery of artillery to cross the marsh dividing Legare's plantation from Grimball's at the causeway nearest Secessionville, drive the enemy as far as the lower causeway (nearest Stono), rapidly recours the marsh at that point by a flank movement, and cut off and capture the force encamped at Grimball's. Colonel Way, Fifty-fourth Georgia, with about 800 infantry, was directed to follow, en echelon, on the Grimball side of the marsh the advance of General Colquitt and co-operate with him. A reserve of one section of artillery, supported by a company of infantry and a squadron of cavalry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Jeffords, Fifth South Carolina Cavalry, was held in had near Rivers' house. On the right, a battery of four rifled 12-pounders and one of four Napoleons, under Lieutenant-Colonel Kemper, supported by Colonel Radcliffe with about 400 infantry, was ordered to engage the gunboats lying highest up the Stono.

The troops moved upon the enemy in the gray of the morning, becoming immediately engaged, and the whole enterprise was carried out as planned. The force at Grimball's, however, was smaller than was anticipated, and by retreating across to Battery island as soon as Colquitt's firing was heard managed to save themselves before he could get into position to intercept them. Colonel Kemper engaged the Pawnee and another gunboat at 250 yards, and after some 10 rounds drove them down the river beyond his range. The reserve artillery was not brought into action. The cavalry did good service in sweeping up fugitives. This fire was chiefly shell from gunboats and shell and case from a field battery. The enemy's infantry fought badly. They were chiefly colored troops, and 14 of them were captured. These belonged to the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts. About 30 of the enemy were killed upon the field.

I beg leave to refer to accompanying reports of subordinate commanders for full details.

The enemy were supposed not to have been above 2,000 infantry and one battery artillery. Upon the following night they evacuated James and Battery Islands, leaving behind them arms and stores, of which a full return will be made.