Today in History:

66 Series I Volume XIV- Serial 20 - Secessionville


and driving near the Seventh Connecticut filed up to the left by the flank. For a short time the left of the two regiments were clustered together in the bushes, but the march of the Seventh Connecticut cleared them. The Twenty-eighth then filed up to the obstructions a short distance from the enemy' entrenchments near the tower, opening fire upon them. Lieutenant-Colonel Moore's report embraces further particulars of the action, to which I respectfully refer.

All the regiments behaved well, subjected as they were to a most galling and raking fire until they retired. The storm of grape and canister,as well as musketry, continuing, and many of our offices and men being disabled, orders were received to withdraw the troops. My command was then withdrawn, and reformed behind the main hedge, from which an advance was again made to the cover of the ditch or second hedge in support of a field battery which was pushed forward.

In the woods on our right, near the angle of the fort, were posted some of the enemy's sharpshooters. They were also in rifle pits, and under cover in the rear as well as in the house, which was filled with them. From these and other covers in and about the fort and on its right a constant fire of musketry was kept up by the enemy, who were in considerable force. The Second Brigade of this Second Division was promptly pushed forward to our support, and from all accessible points the enemy was vigorously replied to.

I have no doubt they suffered a severe loss in killed and wounded. From the enemy's floating battery or hulk to our right and front at least four shots were fired. when the order to withdraw was given I sent Lieutenant Fenton, acting aide, to our extreme right and front to recall the men there. At this time he found them near the angle of the fort and directed them to fall back, which was done by most of the troops; but after the regiments were reforming behind the hedge 100 or more of the Eighth Michigan still remained at the angle and were recalled by Lieutenant Belcher, who rode over the field to bring in all who remained able to move. The field of battle was furrowed across with cotton ridges, and many of the men lay there loading and firing as deliberately as though on their hounding grounds at home.

All the horses connected with my command were either killed or wounded, and all my aided and orderlies his in some way. During the engagement the Eighth Michigan colors were carries on the parapet, and after the men first withdrew were unfurled to protect from shots of friends in rear.

While the firing was hottest and during the day's action, through the efficient attention of Surg. Francis Bacon and Asst. Surg. Horace Porter, of Seventh Connecticut, Surgeon Wilson, of Eighth Michigan, and Surgeon O'Connell and Assistant Surgeon Snow, of Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, with their respective corps, speedy relief was afforded the wounded who were accessible.

Orders having been given to that effect, about 9 a. m. this command was withdrawn, and returned to camp in good order. The conduct of all the officers of this command who came under my notice was gallant without exception. The men behaved with admirable bravery and coolness. I regret to report the heavy loss in the command, which is not yet precisely ascertained, but as last reported amounts to 341 killed, wounded, and missing, of which 182 are in the Eighth Michigan Volunteers, 85 in the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, and 74 in the Twenty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers.* I will transmit at the


*See revised statement, p. 51.