Perceiving this I sent all my force that could be spared to this point. They were met with such a deadly fire that they retreated in confusion from the field, leaving some of their dead and wounded on the field.
I cannot fail to mention the gallant conduct of both officers and men.
The right of the line was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Dargan and the left by Major Glover, Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers. I lost in this action 35 men-2 killed and 28 wounded of the Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers and 5 wounded of the Twenty-fifth South Carolina Volunteers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. F. GRAHAM,
Colonel, Commanding Twenty-first South Carolina Volunteers.
Captain P. K. MOLONY, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 102. Report of Major General William H. C. Whiting, C. S. Army, commanding division, of operations May 16-17.
HEADQUARTERS, Petersburg, May 19, 1864.
GENERAL: I respectfully forward the following report of the operations of troops under my command on 16th and 17th:
All 11 a. m. on 15th I received in cipher the following order, dated Drewry's Bluff, May 15, 1864, 12.15 a. m.:*
GENERAL: I shall attack enemy in my front to-morrow at daylight by river road, to cut him off from his Bermuda base. You will take up your position to-night on Swift Creek, with Wise's, Martin's Dearing's brigades and two regiments of Colquitt's, with about twenty pieces under Colonel Jones. At daybreak you will march to Port Walthall Junction, and when you hear and engagement in your front you will advance boldly and rapidly by shortest road in direction of heavies firing to attack enemy in rear or flank. You will protect your advance and flanks with Dearing's cavalry, taking necessary precautions to distinguish friends from foes.+ This revokes all former orders for movements.
Respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. T. BEAUREGARD,
I at once caused Wise's brigade, then on city lines, to move to Swift Creek. As but one regiment of Colquitt's was present it was brigaded with General Martin. General Dearing's brigade of cavalry, which had gone in pursuit of the enemy under Kautz, was re-called. Not having infantry enough for twenty pieces, and the horse of some of the batteries not being in very good condition, I left the most for the protection of the city and Swift Creek, and ordered Colonel Jones with ten guns for the expedition. Having made all the arrangements in my power for the protection of the city and the various lines of railroad threatened on all sides by the enemy, I reached Swift Creek by daylight and at once commenced the movement. General Wise was ordered to lead, the artillery in his rear, and General Martin following. The enemy's outpost pickets were met within half a mile of the brigade on the turnpike road, and General Wise put out his skirmishers to clear the way. On reaching the first right-hand road General Martin was ordered with two regiments to move parallel to the column on the railroad, and
*10.45 a. m. See Beauregard's report, p. 200.
+See dispatch as quoted by General Beauregard, p. 200.