War of the Rebellion: Serial 092 Page 0439 Chapter LVI. DEMONSTRATIONS AGAINST SAVANNAH R. R., S. C.

Search Civil War Official Records

were the first of the regiment ashore. * These, with part of the One hundred and fifty-seventh New York Volunteers, Fifty-sixth New York Volunteers, Twenty-fifth Ohio, and the naval infantry immediately moved out on the dirt road, moving north to the Coosawhatchie and Beaufort turnpike. Colonel Gurney and myself were with this part of the regiment. The rebel pickets were soon met and driven back. These skirmishers were encountered at about a quarter of a mile south of the turnpike. The center of our line of battle was on the dirt road; the right wing extended into an open field at right angles to this road and parallel to the turnpike; the left wing was refused and lay about forty-five degrees from northeast to southwest. The four companies of the One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers held the right center of the line; Company I soon came up, and was ordered in on the left; the remaining five companies came promptly up as soon as we landed, and were also subsequently sent in upon the left of the line of battle. The severe fighting was nearly over when these latter got into position. Soon after the firing became General, the rebels advanced the left of their line-which lay upon the turnpike, sheltered by the forest on the north and a heavy skirting of trees and hedge on the south- into the field, and endeavored to charge and break our right. The naval infantry, which lay immediately to the right of our regiment, were forced back about 100 or 150 yards, leaving our right uncovered. At this moment Colonel Gurney, commanding our regiment, was shot through the arm, and compelled to leave the field. With the four companies of my command which were with me I immediately charged the rebel line, but before we reached them they broke and retired. Part of them fell back into the woods north of the turnpike, and part moved west on the turnpike, under cover of their artillery, to their entrenchments near the railroad. Just before we charged we fired by rank, and under this discharge the flag of the regiment in our front-the Fifth Georgia Reserves - fell. They were driven back so rapidly as not to be able to rescue it. We passed over it, and it was picked up by some person connected with another regiment and sent to General Potter, who commanded our forces in the engagement. It was afterward turned over to our regiment. Having seized the turnpike, we subsequently moved up on it a quarter of a mile to the west, when we fell back and bivouacked for the night on the left of the line.

The losses in the four companies immediately under my command were 4 killed and 19 wounded. Captain Frank K. Smith, of Company D, our senior captain, was shot in the left arm, in the early part of the fight, but remained upon the field with me until all as over. Officers and men alike behaved coolly and well. First Assistant Surgeon Dayton was shot through the right hand while attending to our wounded. Our entire loss was 5 killed and 22 wounded; total 27. I submit herewith a list of our casualties in detail.

I cannot close this report without calling the attention of the commanding general to Sergt. Benjamin K. Conklin, of Company E, who when General Potter asked for volunteers to endeavor to go up through the forest to the railroad, offered to go; Privates Joseph I. Kampe, of Company E, and Oscar L. Jagger, of Company K, also volunteered. I respectfully recommend Sergeant Conklin for a lieutenant in the colored troops,

And am, with great respect, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

Captain W. C. MANNING,

A. A. A. G., Potter's Brigade, Coast Division, Dept. of the South.