James_Island_Skirmish_16_July_1863.jpg

James Island Skirmish 16 July 1863

Privacy Level: Open (White)

Surname/tag: JAMES_ISLAND_SKIRMISH
Profile manager: K Raymoure private message [send private message]
This page has been accessed 947 times.


The goal of this project is to collect information about the men who engaged in the skirmish on James Island on 16 July 1863.

Contents

a.k.a. The Civil War Battle of Sol Legare Island

Pronounced sawl la-gree[1].

Volunteers

Will you join me? Please post a comment here on this page, in G2G using the project tag, or send me a private message. Thanks!

Confirmed Combatants

10th Connecticut

To capture the Tenth Connecticut, the enemy, after dealing with the Fifty-fourth, sent a portion of his force; but the resistance made by Captain Simpkins had allowed time for the Tenth Connecticut to abandon its dangerous position at the double-quick. None too soon, however, for five minutes' delay would have been fatal. A correspondent of The Reflector, writing from Morris Island a few days later, said:
The boys of the Tenth Connecticut could not help loving the men who saved them from destruction. I have been deeply affected at hearing this feeling expressed by officers and men of the Connecticut regiment; and probably a thousand homes from Windham to Fairfield have in letters been told the story of how the dark-skinned heroes fought the good fight and covered with their own brave hearts the retreat of brothers, sons, and father of Connecticut.[2]
The Connecticut regiment was trapped. With a swamp at their backs and the Stono River curving from the left and to their front, Stephens and the Fifty-Fourth pickets held a gap that happened to be the only way out. Pickets were expected to hurry back to the main body and join a defensive line once an attack began. But these pickets stayed to cover the Tenth.[3]

19th Georgia

Russel's right posts, thus cut off, were followed by a company of the Nineteenth Georgia, and after the desultory fighting were driven, to escape capture, into the creek on the right of the line, where some were drowned.[4]

25th South Carolina "Eutaw Regiment"

  1. General Alfred Holt Colquitt
    Colquitt, with six companies of the Eutaw Regiment (Twenty-fifth South Carolina), skirmishing before his infantry column, crossing Rivers's causeway, was rapidly advancing on the black pickets.[5]

54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry "Shaw Regiment"

The Black soldiers who were captured at the skirmish would have to survive - and many did not - as prisoners of war until March of 1865. Until then, the Rebels refused to exchange Black soldiers for their White soldiers, considering them to be unequal.

  1. Captain Thomas Lorkin Appleton, Co. B First Lieutenant at the time of the skirmish
    Captain Willard at the reserve house at once sent back word, by a mounted orderly, of the situation. To the support of his right he sent Lieutenant Appleton with some men, and to the left First Sergeant Simmons of Company B with a small force, and then looked for aid from our main body.[6]
  2. Private Lemuel Blake, Co. B POW 16 July 1863
  3. Private Elisha Burkett, Co. H KIA 16 July 1863
  4. Private James Caldwell, Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  5. Private George Counsel, Co. B POW 16 July 1863
  6. Private Cyrus Crunkleton (Krunkleton), Co. K KIA 16 July 1863
  7. Private Wesley Crunkleton (Krunkleton), Co. K WIA 16 July 1863
  8. Private William Crunkleton (Krunkleton), Co. K WIA 16 July 1863
  9. Private John Davis, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  10. Corporal John H. Davis, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  11. Corporal Henry W. Dennis, Co. H KIA 16 July 1863
  12. Private John W. Dickinson (Dixon), Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  13. Corporal Henry A. Field, Co. K DOD 25 September 1864
    Captain Simpkins's right [...] By strenuous efforts and great personal exposure that cool and gallant officer collected some men in line. With them he contested the way back step by step, halting now and then to face about and fire, thus gaining time, the loss of which thwarted the enemy's plan. Of his men, Corp. Henry A. Field of Company K especially distinguished himself.[7]
  14. Private Charles S. Gamrell, Co. H KIA 16 July 1863
  15. Private William Henry Harrison (1), Co. H POW 16 July 1863 DOD 26 January 1865 while still a POW
  16. Corporal Charles M. Holloway, Co. K KIA 16 July 1863
  17. Sergeant Walter A. Jeffries, Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  18. Private Joseph C. Johnson, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  19. Captain Edward Lloyd Jones, Co. D WIA 18 July 1863
    Captain Jones with two companies advanced, skirmishing; and the main body followed, encountering arms and equipments of the enemy strewn over a broad trail. At the reserve house the regiment halted in support of a strong picket line thrown out.[8]
  20. Private Henry King, Co. H KIA 16 July 1863
  21. Private John Leatherman, Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  22. Private Lewis J. Locard, Co. K KIA 16 July 1863
  23. Sergeant George F. Merriman, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863 DOW 1 August 1863
  24. Private Martin Milner, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  25. Private Robert Nelson, Co. K WIA 16 July 1863
  26. Ishmael Palmer, Co. K WIA 16 July 1863
  27. Private James Phoenix, Co. K WIA 16 July 1863
  28. Private Joseph C. Proctor, Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  29. Private William G. Raymour (Reamer), Co. G
  30. Private Andrew Richardson, Co. B WIA 16 July 1863
  31. Private James Riley, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  32. Captain Cabot Jackson Russel, Co. H
    Russel's right posts, thus cut off, were followed by a company of the Nineteeth Georgia, and after the desultory fighting were drive, to escape capture, into the creek on the right of the line, where some were drowned. Those most courageous refused to fall back, and were killed or taken as prisoners.[9]
     
    Captain Russel, finding that the enemy had turned his flank before he could face back, had to retire with such men as were not cut off, at double-quick, finding the foe about the reserve house when he reached it. A mounted officer charged up to Russel, and cut twice at his head with his sword. Preston Williams of Company H caught the second sweep upon his bayonet and shot the Confederate through the neck, thus saving his captain's life.[10]
  33. Private Anthony Schenck, Co. H KIA 16 July 1863
  34. First Sergeant Robert John Simmons, Co. B WIA POW DOW 18 July 1863 and thereafter
    Captain Willard at the reserve house at once sent back word, by a mounted orderly, of the situation. To the support of his right he sent Lieutenant Appleton with some men, and to the left First Sergeant Simmons of Company B with a small force, and then looked for aid from our main body.[11]
     
    Excerpt from final letter to his wife: We have just completed our successful retreat from James Island; we fought a desperate battle there Thursday morning. Three companies of us, B, H, and K, were out on picket about a good mile in advance of the regiment. We were attacked early in the morning. Our company was in the reserve, when the outposts were attacked by rebel infantry and cavalry. I was sent out by our Captain in command of a squad of men to support the left flank. The bullets fairly rained around us; when I got there the poor fellows were falling down around me, with pitiful groans. Our pickets only numbered about 250 men, attacked by about 900. It is supposed by the line of battle in the distance, that they were supported by reserve of 3,000 men. We had to fire and retreat toward our own encampment. One poor Sergeant of ours was shot down along side of me; several others were wounded near me.[12]
  35. Captain William Harris Simpkins, Co. K
    Simpkins's right was the first point of contact; and the men, thus suddenly attacked by a heavy force, discharged their pieces, and sullenly contested the way, firing as they went, over rough and difficult ground, which obstructed the enemy's advance as well as their own retirement.[13]
  36. Private Enos Smith, Co. H POW 16 July 1863 DOD 20 February 1865 while still a POW
  37. First Lieutenant Peter Vogelsang, Co. H Sergeant at the time of the skirmish WIA 16 July 1863
    It seemed to Sergt. Peter Vogelsang of Company H, who had his post at a palmetto-tree, that in a moment one hundred Rebels were swarming about him. He led his comrades to join men on his left, where they advanced, firing.[14]
     
    My poor friend Vogelsang is shot through the lungs; his case is critical, but the doctor says he may probably live. His company suffered very much.[15]
  38. Private Frederick Wallace, Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  39. Private Albert G. Walls, Co. B KIA 16 July 1863
    In a letter to the Weekly Anglo-African from George E. Stephens: Albert Walls, of one of the missing or killed, did not hear the order to fall back and remained at his post and fought until killed or taken prisoner.[16]
  40. Private George Weaver, Co. K WIA 16 July 1863
  41. Corporal Samuel Wells, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  42. Captain Samuel Willard, Co. B
    Captain Willard at the reserve house at once sent back word, by a mounted orderly, of the situation. To the support of his right he sent Lieutenant Appleton with some men, and to the left First Sergeant Simmons of Company B with a small force, and then looked for aid from our main body.[17]
  43. Corporal Armistead Williams, Co. H POW 16 July 1863 DOD 21 July 1864 while still a POW
  44. Private James Oscar Williams, Co. H POW 16 July 1863
  45. Private John Williams, Co. H WIA 16 July 1863
  46. Private Preston Williams, Co. H
    A mounted officer charged up to Russel, and cut twice at his head with his sword. Preston Williams of Company H caught the second sweep upon his bayonet and shot the Confederate through the neck, thus saving his captain's life.[18]
  47. Sergeant Joseph D. Wilson, Co. H KIA 16 July 1863
    [...] James Island on the morning of the 16th. There were four[19] companies of the 54th on picket duty at the time; our picket lines extending to the right of the rebel battery, which commands the approach to Charleston through the Edisto river. [...] Our loss in the skirmishing before the battle, so far as we can ascertain, was nine killed, 13 wounded, and 17 missing, either killed or taken prisoners; but more probably they were driven into the creek and drowned. Sergeant Wilson, of Co. H, was called upon to surrender, but would not; he shot four men before he was taken. After he was taken they ordered him to give up his pistol which he refused to do, when he was shot through the head.[20]
     
    Russel's right posts, thus cut off, were followed by a company of the Nineteeth Georgia, and after the desultory fighting were drive, to escape capture, into the creek on the right of the line, where some were drowned. Those most courageous refused to fall back, and were killed or taken as prisoners. Sergt. [Joseph] D. Wilson of Company H was one of the former. He was an expert in the use of the musket, having been employed with the famous Ellsworth Zouaves of Chicago. Many times he had declared to his comrades that he would never retreat or surrender to the enemy. On that morning, when attacked, he called to his men to stand fast. Assailed by five men, he is said to have disabled three of them. Some cavalrymen coming up, he charged them with a shout as they circled about him, keeping them all at bay for a time with the bayonet of his discharged musket, until the brave fellow sank in death with three mortal besides other wounds.[21]
  48. Private William Henry Worthington, Co. H POW 16 July 1863 DOD 8 January 1865 while still a POW

Abbreviations

DOD Died of Disease
DOW Died of Wounds
KIA Killed in Action
POW Prisoner of War
WIA Wounded in Action

Sources

  • Emilio, Luis Fenollosa. History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1863-1865, Boston, Massachusetts: Boston Book Co., 1891 (1st ed.) and 1894 (2nd ed.)
  • Gooch, Cheryl Renée, PhD. Hinsonville's Heroes: Black Civil War Soldiers of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. 2018.
  • Gooding, James Henry and Virginia M. Adams (ed.) On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front. Amherst, Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press. 1991.
  • Redkey, Edwin S. (ed.) A Grand Army of Black Men. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Cambridge University Press. 1992.
  • Shepard, Ray Anthony. Now or Never! 54th Massachusetts Infantry's War to End Slavery. Calkins Creek Books: October 2017.
  1. Gooch, p. 23
  2. Emilio, p. 60
  3. Shepard, p. 65
  4. Emilio, p. 58
  5. Emilio, p. 57
  6. Emilio, p. 59
  7. Emilio, p. 59
  8. Emilio, p. 60
  9. Emilio, p. 58
  10. Emilio, pp. 58-59
  11. Emilio, p. 59
  12. Redkey, pp. 33-34
  13. Emilio, p. 57
  14. Emilio, p. 58
  15. Redkey, p. 34
  16. Gooch, p. 24
  17. Emilio, p. 59
  18. Emilio, p. 59
  19. Adams notes that there were four companies - D, F, I and K - detailed for picket on 11 July. According to Emilio, only three - B, H and K - were detailed for picket on 16 July. There's also evidence in military records that at least two Company G men were present during the 16 July 1863 skirmish.
  20. Gooding, pp. 36-37
  21. Emilio, p. 58




Collaboration
  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)


Comments

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.