ing a detour to the right to avoid the dense and almost impassable abatis immediately in front. The artillery, however, were obliged to move up the road leading from the front of the work at Secessionville toward the extreme left point of the woods known as Grimball's, while the cavalry remained near Rivers' causeway to aid in any rapid movement necessary to cut off the retreating picket stationed upon the right of the marsh. This charge in the disposition of these portions of my command were rendered necessary by the condition of the ground over which the artillery had to be moved, and the evident precipitancy with which the enemy upon the right of the marsh were retreating.
Arriving about 600 yards from the line of pickets thrown out by the enemy, I deployed as skirmishers 200 men of the Fifty-fourth Georgia Regiment in front of the column and moved rapidly forward; but crossing the abatis in front of their line I found that, alarmed by the fire from general Colquitt's commandant the force moving down upon their front, they had (together with all that portion of their force stationed upon the right of the marsh) retreated, leaving their camp strewn with muskets, accouterments, blankets, over coast, provisions, &c.
After crossing the abatis through which my skirmishers had passed, I brought my command in line of battle and (agreeable to the instructions received) awaited the appearance of General Coquitt's command, which it was intended should cross over from the left to the right of the marsh by the lower causeways. At this point, my command was perceived by the enemy's light batteries, which had been stationed upon a hill and apparently (in the gray of the morning) within an earthwork. A terrible fire was opened upon us from these batteries in front, but, as usual, proved to be almost entirely harmless.
After remaining in this position some twenty minutes, General Colquitt's command made its appearance. My guides were under the impression that it was a column of the enemy endeavoring to it was impossible to distinguish their standards. Another reason induced me to believeth statements of my guides, viz, the total cession of musketry from the other side of the marsh, where General Colquitt's command had moved, and the continued fire from the enemy's batteries upon me. But reasoning if it were a column of the enemy that they could turn my right and cut me off from the route marked out in my instructions, or if it was General Colquitt's command, that the time had arrived for me to move up in conjunction with him, I recrossed the hedge and ordered the command to move up to Grimball's woods, having carried out entirely the portion of the
work assigned me.
I cannot close this report without expressing the among of obligations which I owe to Lieutenant G. H. Moffett, who acted as my guide throughout the entire movement.
The casualties in my command were 2 killed, in the Thirty-first North Carolina Regiment, by explosion of a shell, and some slight contusions form the same cause in the Fifty-fourth Georgia.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHARLTON H. WAY,
Colonel Fifty-fourth Georgia, Commanding.
Captain P. K. MOLONY,