Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/66
60 Southern Historical Society Papers.
wards Grimballs' house on the causeway leading across the marsh on our right. They were at first mistaken for a regiment of the troops that had gone to Grimballs. If we had proceeded as rapidly as we had been advancing these troops would have gotten in between us and the Georgians in our rear. I called in the skirmishers and made an oblique change of front to the right in order to meet this regiment. As soon as these troops discovered that we had made proper dispo- sition to meet them and before we opened fire on them they broke and fled across the marsh towards the Stono river in great confusion. There was an officer mounted on a fine looking black horse with them who seemed to be rather disgusted at the conduct of his men. He did not follow them, but continued his course on the causeway at a very slow pace. Several shots were fired at him, but the brave fellow, without accelerating his pace, escaped and when last seen was about joining the main body of the enemy. We then resumed our former front and continued to advance in line of battle towards the enemy, my intention being to charge the light battery engaged with the Marion artillery, when Captain Taliaferro, of General Colquit's staff, rode up from the rear and directed a halt. After waiting a few minutes I concluded that there was some mistake on the part of the staff officer, and started again for the enemy's battery. We had not proceeded far when Captain Taliaferro again rode up and informed me that the General directed me to move by the right flank.
" Captain," said I, " that movement will take us out of the fight, and General Colquit instructed me to press the enemy till they stopped my regiment and he would help us. They have not stopped us yet."
"The General's orders that you move to the right are peremp- tory," said the Captain.
"Very well, Captain, I must obey, then," said I, and gave the order to march by the right flank. We soon struck the Grimball causeway and followed it out of the fight. The Georgians in our rear were turned back about the time the Twenty-fifth was stopped and we brought up the rear in the retrograde movement. The enemy made no attempt to follow us. In crossing the marsh on the Grimball causeway the gunboats shelled us furiously, being able to do so now without danger to their own troops. During the engagement we saw the signal officers of the enemy on a tree in the rear of their line of battle, busily sending and receiving signals between the land forces and the fleet. They were thus able to act in concert.