War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0423 Chapter LVI. ENGAGEMENT AT HONEY HILL, S. C.

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sighting one of his guns. At 11 a. m. the head of the column came unexpectedly of the main body of the enemy in position. At this point the road bends to the left. The advance following it found themselves in front of an inclosed work pierced for four guns.

The redoubt, situated on the crest of a small ridge, was the center of the enemy's line. It is said to have been built two years since, although until now unknown to us. Following the crest of the hill on either side the redoubt, the enemy had thrown up a line of rifle-pits, and within these waited with seven pieces of artillery our attack. In front of the enemy's line ran a small creek, bounded by a marsh covered with dense undergrowth. This was not impassable, but presented a serious obstacle to our advance, being completely commanding by the enemy's fire. Potter's brigade was quickly formed in line of battle parallel to that of the enemy. One section of Mesereau's artillery, placed in position in the road, opened fire upon the redoubt. The left of Potter's brigade- re-enforced by two companies of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers and part of the Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, which had by mistake taken position on the left of the road-made two desperate attack on the main work of the enemy, led by Colonel A. S. Hartwell, commanding Second Brigade. They were repulsed with severe loss. The Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers were rallied, and, with the Marine Battalion, sent to the support of the right wing of the line of battle, with orders to turn left flank of the enemy. They advanced gallantly, but were unable to carry the entrenchments. This wing finally fell back a short distance to take advantage of an inequality of the ground, which gave them a position from which they repulsed several attacks made by the enemy. Charges made on our left flank were repulsed with ease. Between 1 and 2 p. m. the One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops reached the field, having arrived at the landing at 11 a. m.

The ammunition of the troops engaged being nearly expended, and none arriving from the rear, this regiment was necessarily held in reserve, as I received information from deserters and prisoners that large re-enforcements were being received by the enemy by railroad. One section of Mesereau' artillery, having been placed in battery in a position completely commanded by the artillery and sharpshooters of the enemy, lost two of its officers wounded, and most of its horses and cannoneers; two of the ammunition-chests on the limbers were blown up. A detail of a company from the One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops was ordered to bring off the guns. Captain A. E. Lindsay, commanding the company, was killed, and Lieutenant H. H. Alvord was severely wounded. The command of the company devolved upon a sergeant, who did no understand the object of the advance, and failed to accomplish it. First Lieutenant O. W. Bennette, One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops, thirty men was detached for the same purpose, and executed it in the coolest and most gallant manner. Mesereau's artillery was then sent to the rear, and Titus' battery brought into action. The artillery fire was directed to be continued slowly, as the ammunition was being expended and none received from the rear. The caissons as fast as emptied were ordered to the landing to refill. About 3 p. m. 6,000 rounds of musket ammunition was received and issued to those regiments entirely out. It was however, no certain that the enemy's position could not be carried; and whilst a moderate fire was kept up, arrangements were commenced for retiring as soon as it became dark. The ammunition of Titus' battery, except twenty-rounds each for two guns, being expended, the naval guns under Lieutenant