Today in History:

1085 Series I Volume XLVII-I Serial 98 - Columbia Part I


First South Carolina Infantry, until it was no longer tenable, then fall back upon the position occupied by Elliotts brigade, which had been brought forward and occupied an intrenched line behind a narrow swamp some 200 yards in rear of the front line, which second line was to be held by my division as long as practicable, when I was to fall back upon an extended line being prepared some 600 yards to the rear, and in part occupied by General McLaws division. At 7 a. in. on the 16th the enemy advanced in considerable force, and the cavalry l)ickets, which had been re-established, retired. He soon appeare(l in our front and advanced to the attack. Our skirmish line, nnder the command of Captain Huguenin, First South Carolina Infantry, received their advance very handsomely and only fell back when forced by greatly superior numbers. - On the right of the line and ~vell advanced to the front the houses at Smiths place were occupied by two companies of the First South Carolina Artillery. The enemy established a battery on a rising ground beyond the swamps in our front to their left of the main road and shelled onr lines with great determina- tion and vigor. They made several attacks with their infantry upon our lines, chiefly upon the left, in all of which they were repulsed. About 11 oclock they severely pressed our left and threatened to turn it. At the same time they massed and extended to our right, finally lap- ping and turning it, when from the impossibility of extending our line, already deployed to its fullest extent, the brigade was withdrawn to the second line, occupied by Elliotts brigade. The fighting was heavy during the entire morning. Men and officers displayed signal gal- lantry. Our loss on this line was considerable, including some of our best officers, among whom were Lieutenant-Colonel De Treville, First South Carolina Infantry, and Captain Lesesne, First South Carolina Artil- lery. Our light artillery, which consisted of two 12-pounder howitzers of Le Gardeurs (New Orleans) battery, and one 12-pounder Napoleon of Stuarts (South Carolina) battery, was well served and operated with good results upon the enemys infantry and opposing battery. The ground was so soft from the heavy rains that the pieces could with difficulty be maneuvered, and when this line was abandoned it was fonnd impossible to withdraw two of the guns, as every horse of Stuarts but one, and nine of Le Gardeurs, were killed, and nearly all the cannoneers of both gnus either killed or wounded. Span horses had been ordered up, but did not arrive in time. All the ammunition, however, to the last shot of all the gulls, was expended upon the enemy. Sergeant Guibet, chief of piece in Le Gardeurs battery, deserves especial mention for his gallantry and energy. The enemy now made several demonstrations along the second line now held by my entire division, first demonstrating to the right and then to the left of our lines, in which they were always resisted successfully. About 1 oclock they moved a large body far to our left in the direc- tion of the Black River, thus exposing our now first line on the left to enfilade, when the division was moved back to the line selected by the lieutenant-general commanding for his main line of defense, and I was ordered to occupy the line to the right and left of the main road, Major-General McLaws division being to my left and Major-General Wheelers dismounted cavalry to my right. Most of J~hetts brigade, which had been severely engaged all day to this time, was held in