War of the Rebellion: Serial 065 Page 0255 Chapter XLVII. OPERATIONS IN CHARLESTON HARBOR, ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

I moved it forward at 2 a.m. about 1 1/2 miles from its bivouac of the night before, and formed line of battle immediately in front of a hedge held by our troops, and about 700 or 800 yards from the enemy's works across an open field. Having thrown forward a line of skirmishers covering my entire front, at the drawn of day I ordered the whole line to advance to the assault, the Thirty-second Georgia being on the right, the Forty-seventh on the left, and Bonaud's battalion in the center, the Thirty-second and Bonaud's being separated by a hedge running perpendicularly to our line and toward the works of the enemy.

Having advanced about 350 yards, my skirmishers came upon the pickets of the enemy, who fired upon us and hastily retreated. With a loud cheer from the whole line my skirmishers dashed off in pursuit, closely followed by the main body. A rapid fire was at once opened upon us by the enemy behind his works, and as we moved onward it became more accurate and deadly until within about 250 yards of their intrenchments, when it became plainly visible that the enemy were in strong force and ready for us. Volley after policy, linked as it were by scattering reports, were poured into our advancing ranks, and musket-balls swept the field in reckless profusion, mowing down many of our brave and gallant men; but my line passed steadily on, never at any time showing the least sign of wavering. Our advance was bloodily contested along the whole line until within a few paces of the enemy's works, and in some places till men mounted the parapet, when he gave way, leaving his works in our possession. Our loss would have been much greater up to this time but for the dense smoke from the enemy's fire, which from the peculiar state of the atmosphere did not rise, but hid us from the sight of the foe. It was so thick that in places a man could not be seen five paces.

Feeling satisfied that the enemy was much stronger in numbers than ourselves, and having been informed of the strength of the ground immediately in our front, I halted my line upon the captured works and opened a rapid fire upon the retreating foe, with considerable effect, the exact amount of which it is difficult to estimate, as the enemy carried off his wounded with him, and probably a portion of his dead, the dense woods affording him this facility with little risk. Having gained the entire front line of the enemy's works, and Major Jenkins having come to my assistance with the First Georgia Regulars a detachment of Thirty-second Georgia Regiment, and a portion of the Fourth Georgia Cavalry (dismounted), which had been held in reserve, I immediately threw forward two companies of Thirty-second Georgia, under Major Holland, of same regiment, and three companies of Forty-seventh Georgia and Bonaud's battalion, together, under Major Cone, of Forty-seventh Georgia, with instructions to press the enemy closely and discover his next position, which was found to be behind another line of works just beyond a creek, passable for artillery only by a narrow bridge, which the enemy tore up as he fell back.

About this time I received instructions from Brigadier-General Robertson not to assault the enemy further, but to hold the ground already taken. This I did, keeping my skirmishers well up to the enemy and exchanging a rapid fire with him during the morning and at intervals during the afternoon. Toward evening the firing ceased, and under the cover of night the enemy withdrew from our