Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 28.djvu/332

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326 Southern Historical Society Papers.

was to advance with skirmishers as soon as Ransom was fairly en- gaged, and afterwards in force, and occupy the enemy, to prevent his reinforcing his right, without, however, prematurely seeking to force him back before Ransom could completely outflank him, and Whiting close up in his rear. These instructions, carefully and ex- plicitly prepared, were reduced to writing, and impressed upon sub- ordinates. The shortcomings of Generals Ransom and Whiting in their execution are noted in General Beauregard's official report. The first failed to carry out his instructions with vigor, and made strangely inaccurate reports of the condition of things in his part of the field. General Whiting did not move at all, notwithstanding his previous instructions and reiterated and imperative orders sent him during the action. Thus the conceptions and provisions of ge- nius failed of fruition, and Butler, out-manoeuvred and environed by his adversary, instead of being forced to surrender, was merely pushed back upon his fortified base at Bermuda Hundred. After the war, the Federal General Ames told General Hagood that during the evening and night of the i8th, when Butler's routed and disor- ganized column was defiling within a mile of Whiting's 4,000 men of all arms, but a thin skirmish line intervened between them and destruction.


The details of the battle are given in the words of General Beau- regard, in the North American Review, March, 1887:

"Ransom moved at 4:45 A. M., being somewhat delayed by a dense fog, which lasted several hours after dawn. This division consisted of the following brigades, in the order mentioned, com- mencing from the left: Grade's; Kemper's, commanded by Colonel Terry; Bartow's, under Colonel Fry, and Hoke'sold brigade, under Colonel Lewis. Ransom was soon engaged, carrying the enemy's works in his front at 6 A. M., with some loss. His troops moved splendidly to the assault, capturing five stands of colors and some five hundred prisoners.

"The brigades most heavily engaged were Gracie's and Kem- per's, opposed to the enemy's right, the former turning his flank. General Ransom then halted to reform, reported his loss heavy and troops scattered by the fog; his ammunition short, and asked for a brigade from the reserve. Colquitt's brigade (two regiments) was sen: him at 6:30 A. M., with orders to return when it ceased to be indispensable. Before either ammunition or the reserve brigade