The Battle of Honey Hill, S.C.
Report of Colonel Colonel Henry L. Chipman
One Hundred and Second U.S. Colored Troops
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records
of the Union and Confederate Armies,
128 Vols.,
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1882)
Copy provided by Marjorie Kwiatkowski; HTML text prepared by Gary W. Myers

December 4, 1864.

I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the different regiments of the Second Brigade, Coast Division, in the action of Honey Hill, November 30, 1864:

I arrived at the front at 1 p.m. with my regiment, and was not informed that Colonel Hartwell had been wounded and taken from the field and that I was in command of the brigade till 3 p.m., at which time the regiments of the brigade were in line of battle on the right of the road, but separated. Soon after dark the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers were withdrawn by the direct order of General Potter, without coming through me. I received orders to withdraw my own regiment at 7.30 p.m. The remainder of the night the regiments of the brigade acted independently. Eight companies of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper, left the landing; six were in the engagement. Four companies (C, D, G, and K) were left at the cross-roads, under Captain Pope, and two (A and I) at the church. The two remaining companies, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper, moved forward and first entered the action on the left of the guns. The four companies under Captain Pope, having engaged and repulsed some 200 of the enemy's cavalry at the cross-roads, were relieved by four companies of the Thirty-fourth U.S. Colored Troops and started immediately for the front, and went into action on the right of the road. The two companies under Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper, having been sent to the rear at about 5 p.m. with surplus ammunition, Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper learned the position of the four companies under Captain Pope, and rejoined him just as the latter had received orders from General Potter to retire. Soon after these six companies were ordered to assist in carrying wounded to the rear, and rendered most efficient service; the two companies left at the church had been already so employed. The following is a list of the killed, wounded, and missing in that regiment.(*)

The Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Fox, came first into action at about noon. Marching up the main road until it reached the section of artillery then in action there, it filed right into the woods until the left of the regiment rested on the road, then marching by the left flank in line of battle. At this point the right and left wings of the regiment became separated--the left, under Colonel Hartwell, charging the battery up the road, the right pressing forward into the woods. About 3 p.m. Lieutenant-Colonel Fox, finding that he had but three companies and a part of a fourth with him, left them in command of Major Nutt and went in search of the remnant of his regiment. Finding a portion of the left wing, under Captains Thurber and Torrey, he returned with them to the position occupied by Major Nutt in the old rifle-pits to the right of our battery, which Major Nutt had held against every attempt of the enemy to dislodge him. This regiment remained at the front till after dark, and then withdrew and assisted in carrying wounded to the rear. The casualties in this regiment are as follows. (+)

Three hundred men of the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops were all of that regiment who were engaged on the 30th. This portion of the One hundred and second U.S. Colored Troops under my command reached the landing at Boyd's Point at about 11 a.m. of the 30th and started immediately for the front, which it reached at I p.m. The two left companies were at once deployed across the road as guards, to stop and return to their regiments all stragglers from the front. Lieutenant-Colonel Ames, chief of artillery, having called for a detail to haul off some guns belonging to Battery B, Third New York Artillery, which had been stripped of both men and horses, Capt. A. E. Lindsay was sent with his company to do this work, but before he reached the pieces he was killed, and his only officer, Lieut. H. H. Alvord, severely wounded in two places. The command now devolved upon the first sergeant, who knowing nothing of the object for which his company had been advanced, filed it right into the woods and formed line toward the enemy. Afterward, when the rest of the regiment was formed in line of battle, Sergeant Madry brought his company and formed it in its proper place in the battalion. The first attempt having thus failed a second was made, and First Lieut. O. W. Bennett was sent with his company to endeavor, if possible, to save the guns. Lieutenant Bennett, with thirty men, went forward fully 100 yards in advance of our first line, and succeeded in bringing away the three guns. Too high praise cannot be awarded to Lieutenant Bennett for the gallant manner in which he led his men in that perilous enterprise, nor to his men who so faithfully followed their leader. (*) At this time the regiment left the road and was posted in line of battle on the road, its left resting on the road, supporting the battery then in action at that point. At 3 p.m. I was informed of the wounding of Colonel Hartwell, and that I was in command of the brigade. From that time the command of the regiment devolved upon Capt. C. S. Montague. The regiment remained in line till 7.30 p.m., when it withdrew. After reaching the church it was also employed in carrying wounded to the rear. The following are the names of officers and enlisted men killed, wounded, and missing in that regiment.(+)

Major Nutt, Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, is specially mentioned in regimental report for gallantry on the field.

I am, with respect, your obedient servant,

Colonel 102d Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops,
Late in command of Second Brigade, Coast Division.

Lieut. L. B. PERRY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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