Today in History:

68 Series I Volume XIV- Serial 20 - Secessionville


and Lieutenant Atwell, with part of Company C, advanced within 130 yards of the parapet. These and a portion of the right wing, conceiving that the time had come when the order not to fire might be waived opened a lively discharge upon the parapet. The men stood bravely, but the line could not be formed until the colors were brought into the open field. As soon as this was done the regiment moved by the right flank under the heaviest fire, the left wing rapidly closing up, and under your orders, when well across the field toward the marsh, filed to the left and advanced upon the enemy.

After moving a short distance Captain Stevens brought me an order from General Stevens to call the men off. They could not resist the temptation offered by the enemy;s men at the guns, and a portion of the right was slow to get the order and fall back, preferring to pick off gunners and riflemen. Faced by the rear rank the battalion marched to the hedge and lay behind it until an order from General Stevens brought it back to the hedge in front of the hospital. In a few moments the general again sent us forward to the hedge across the fields, where we lay, whole three pieces (two howitzers and a rifle) of the Connecticut light battery came up and carried on a rapid and for the most part a very well directed fire. Several times my men assisted with the utmost eagerness in moving the guns and giving other aid. A portion of the best marksmen were permitted to fire at the enemy's parapets. When the pieces had retired beyond danger, by order from General Stevens we were again moved in regular line to the rear, the enemy's rifled cannot and howitzers playing upon us.

After standing behind the hospital hedge a short time General Stevens ordered us to camp, whither we returned in good order. An immediate inquiry showed very few missing men, and the number absent not positively known to have been left on the field dead or severely wounded does not exceed 3 or 4.

I find it impossible to select individuals for praise. Captain Edwin S. Hitchcock, of Company G, among the foremost, and enthusiastically cheering on his men, was severely wound in the thigh. He continued to call out cheerfully and to fire rifles handed him by his men until he received a rifle-ball straight from the front through his upper lip. Four of his men then undertook to carry him to the rear. While they were doing this two of them, Sergeant Haynes and Private J. N. Dexter, were wounded by rifle-balls, and they were obliged to leave the gallant captain dying there. Lieutenant Hooton, of Company D, was doing his whole duty nobly, rallying and regulating his company, when a heavy grape-shot passed entirely though his right thigh nearly up to the body. He was carried to the rear, praising his men and urging them on, and he lived but a short time. Lieutenant Dempsey, of Company E, while in the discharge of his duty, was disabled by a ball through his left shoulder, inflicting a painful but not dangerous wound. Sergeant (Acting Second Lieutenant) Upon, of Company F, was heroically at work when a grape-shot took off three fingers and dashed through his right shoulder. There are but very slight hopes of his recovery. Major (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel) Gardiner, Captain (Acting Major) Rodman, Adjutant Mills, and Quartermaster Terry and Sergeant-Major Sawyer, of the field and staff, did al that could be asked of the bravest soldiers. they were entirely fearless and constantly active and near me every moment. The same I may say, from personal observation, of nearly every line officer, and for aught I know it is true of all. At a most critical moment, when we were rearranging the line for the second