War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0416 OPERATIONS IN S. C., GA., AND FLA. Chapter LVI.

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arrived. This made it necessary, in my judgment, that the leading brigade should be counter marched at once and placed in position on a line with our main battery. The troops in rear were hurried up and placed upon the same line, to the right and left of the road. The enemy in the mean while steadily advanced along the main road upon our position. After a proper disposition of our forces, had been made and a skirmish line ordered forward, Colonel Colcock, the commander of the district and next officer in rank upon the field to myself, was assigned to the immediate executive command of the main line; Colonel Gonzales was placed in charge of the artillery, and Major Jenkins of all the cavalry; Captain De Saussure, who was thoroughly acquainted with the whole country, remained near me. The Forty-seventh Georgia had not yet reached the field. Within five or ten minutes after these dispositions had been made the battle began by an advance piece of our artillery firing upon the enemy. Their line of battle was soon formed, and from that time until near dark made continuous efforts to carry our position. We had actually engaged five pieces of artillery, and it is due to the South Carolina artillerists that I should say I have never seen pieces more skillfully employed and gallantly served upon a difficult field of battle.

In an hour the enemy had so extended and developed their attack that it became absolutely necessary for me to place in the front line of battle my last troops (the Forty-seventh Georgia Regiment), making in all about 1,400 effective muskets on the field, and all engaged. From time to time alternations had to be made in our lines, by changing the positions of regiments and companies, extending intervals, &c., to prevent being flanked; and while we could not from the dense wood accurately estimate the number of the enemy, it was very clear their force largely exceeded ours, and I awaited with some anxiety the arrival of the Thirty-second Georgia and the forces expected from North and South Carolina.

Too much credit cannot be given to Colonel Colcock and Colonel Gonzales, Major Jenkins, and Captain De Saussure; to all the officers of my own staff; to Colonel Willis, commanding First Brigade of Georgia Militia; Colonel Wilson, commanding State Line Brigade; Major Cook, commanding the Athens and Augusta battalions of reserves; Lieutenant-Colonel Edwards, commanding the Forty-seventh Georgia Confederate Regiment; and to all the officers and men of every arm engaged upon that field. In short, I have never seen or known of a battle-field upon which there was so little confusion, where every order was so cheerfully and promptly obeyed, and where a small number of men for so long a time successfully resisted the determined and oft-repeated efforts of largely superior attacking forces. The flight of the enemy during the night and the number of their dead left upon the field is evidence of the nature of the attack as well as the defense.

About 4. 30 p. m. Brigadier-General Robertson arrived with a portion of the Thirty-second Georgia from Charleston, a battery of artillery, and a company of cavalry. These constituted an effective reserve, but came up too late to be used in the action. During the night the enemy retired rapidly in the direction of their gun-boats.

Our loss in every arm of service was 8 men killed and 42 wounded. The enemy left over 200 of their dead upon the field, and their whole loss in killed and wounded is believed to be upward of 1,000.

At midnight Brigadier-General Chesnut arrived at Grahamville Station with about 350 effective muskets of South Carolina reserves,