HDQRS. 103rd REGIMENT NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, Folly Island, S. C., July 11, 1864.
SIR: In obedience to orders from post headquarters, Folly Island, I have the honor to report the part taken by this regiment, under my command, in the late attack made by our forces on James Island, S. C.
On the afternoon of June 30, 1864, I was ordered to move my regiment to Pawnee Landing, and to report to Colonel Hartwell. I arrived at Pawnee Landing about 5 p.m., and by 9 p.m. my regiment was safely landed on Long Island. At 10 p.m., I received orders to return with my command to Pawnee Landing. As I had to wait for the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts to precede me in crossing, it was after midnight before the boats were at my disposal. By 2 a.m., July 1, I had succeeded in getting about half of the regiment over to Pawnee Landing, when the order was countermanded, so that portion of the regiment in boats had to return to Long Island, arriving there about daylight. I know not who is responsible for keeping my officers and men rowing between Folly Island and Long Island, depriving them of all rest just as they were about entering upon an expedition that required troops to be in the best physical condition. On the evening of July 1, I moved my regiment over to Tiger Island, an as the tide was the landing was very difficult, many of the men sinking into the mud almost to their armpits. At 4 a.m., I was ordered to cross to James Island, which I did, moving by the right flank. As we approached the island a few of the enemy's vedettes fired upon us. I sent Captains Crosby and Turnt forward with their companies to engage whatever picket force the enemy might have stationed on my right and in front of Battery Numbers 2, Long Island. When I advanced on the island a few rods I halted the head of my column in order to enable the men on the left to close up, but before I could get the regiment in any shape I was ordered to advance. By this time the few skirmishers I had thrown forward had moved off to the right and were not to be found. I again halted. I sent my acting adjutant in search of the skirmishers, and in the mean time tried to get the regiment closed up in some kind of shape, as the march through the swamp had so completely fatigued a portion of the men that it was with the greatest difficulty they could be kept up with the regiment. I had not more than halted when I was ordered forward,and as my adjutant reported that he could not find the skirmishers, and deeming it unsafe to advance without them, I ordered Sergeant Kimball, of Company I, to take 10 men and advance as skirmishers. As the sergeant and his men knew nothing about skirmishers they were of no use, as they never advanced 50 yards in front of the column.
As I moved forward I came upon an open strip of land, situated in front of Battery Wright,and as I was about moving toward the battery by the direct road that runs through James Island at this point, I was ordered to file to the right and follow the river running up to Fort Lamar. I had just got the right wing of my regiment on the new direction [when] we were fired upon by a few rebel infantry that were posted in a clump of bushes immediately in front of the head of my regiments and a little to the left of Battery Wright,and the next instant the enemy opened with two pieces of artillery from Battery Wright. The first fire of the enemy killed 7 of my men and wounded many others, and as my regiment was taken completely by surprise and in no position to charge the battery, I