102nd Michigan USCT at Honey Hill, S.C.

Civilian Re-enactors
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The headquarters of this regiment on November 1st, 1864, were at Beaufort, S C., and the several companies thereof were doing picket duty on the outposts of Port Royal, Lady's, and Coosa Islands during that month and December. On the 30th of November a detachment of the regiment, consisting of twelve o~ers and three hundred men left Beaufort and joined General Foster's cooperating column at Boyd's Landing, and was engaged with the enemy at Honey Hill, S.C., on Novemher 30th following, at Tillifinny December 7th, and at Devaux Neck on the 9th by a detachment of the regiment consisting of twelve officers and three hundred men, that had been sent from Beaufort to join the forces of General Foster. This detachment was commanded by Captain Montague, Colonel Chipman being in command of a brigade.  At the points named the officers and men referred to, most gallantly engaged a superior force of the enemy, sustaining an aggregate loss in these affairs of sixty-five in killed and wounded; Captain A. E. Lindsay being among the killed and Lieutenant H. H. Alvord among the severely wounded.

A correspondent wrote as follows:

   While reflecting upon some reports which have just reached me from the front, where we have a detail of 30O men from our regiment, under command of Colonel Chipman, I reverted back to the time of the organization of the 102d. During that time it was almost a by-word, and those connected with it subjects of derision. But now its praises are on every one's lips, and here, at least, it is an honor to belong to what was once known as the 1st Michigan Colored Regiment.

   "'You have already heard, no doubt, that another expedition has been set on foot In this department, the object of which Is to Interrupt the Savannah and Charleston railroad, and, if possible, destroy It altogether. The expedition numbered, all told, about 6,000 men, mostly colored troops. it landed at first on what is called Boyd's Bluff, a neck of land nearly opposite to Fort Royal Ferry. Our forces advanced along this neck of land for several miles In the direction of Gorhamsville, which Is a station on the above mentioned road.  There had been skirmishing for most of the way, but here they met the enemy in force and here a sanguinary battle was fought, which was the first real fight In which our regiment was ever engaged) On one side of our little detail of 300 men the 54th Massachusetts (colored) was drawn up, on the other a white regiment, the 127th New York. Here our forces sustained a charge from the enemy, and charged in turn. In this affair the 102d covered themselves with glory. It is acknowledged without stint on all hands that our regiment maintained the steadiest line of battle and fought with the greatest determination of any troops on the ground. Many who were wounded quite severely refused to go to the rear, but kept on fighting, while the blood was flowing from their

wounds. But the enemy's position was found too strong to be taken, and our forces were withdrawn. The enemy's fire having been very severe upon our artillery, and So many horses having been killed, they were obliged to abandon two pieces of artillery on the field, and while all were falling back, and after the retreat had been sounded, two companies of the 102d hauled off the two pieces of artillery by hand. For several days fighting and sklrmishing were kept up quite briskly near the same place, during which time the 102d not only maintained their credit, but were constantly gathering new laurels. The white regiment which fought 'next to ours held our men in the highest estimation, and expressed their preference to fight beside our regiment rather than any other regiment in the department.

   "The attempt to reach the railroad by this route was finally abandoned, and the troops were taken to a point near Pocatallago Bridge, and landed on a strip of land called Bull's Neck.  Here again they had several skirmishes and one severe fight, where the 102d fought as well as any troops ever fought, no other Michigan regiment excepted.  There were men in my company who were shot through and through the fleshy part of the arm who have not gone to the hospital, but after having their wounds dressed have come to their company quarters, remained there, and seemed scarcely to notice their wounds. If such a thing had occurred in the regiment I formerly belonged to, such a wound would have been good for a three-months' stay in some hospital at Philadelphia or Baltimore. There are others who are wounded in the neck and side, but still have the full use of their limbs, who would go back to the field at once if they were permitted to do so. The same is true of men of every company of the regiment. Now such bravery I never saw before. I have known men to fight as well and bravely as men ever fought, but never before have I known men to fight on after being severely wounded, and anxious to return to the field as soon as their wounds were dressed. After having been three and a half years in the field and participated In sixteen different engagements, I never before saw men exhibit such unyielding bravery In battle.

   "Colonel Chipman has also gained great credit on account of the exploits of his little band, and In consequence thereof has, as I understand, been recommended for a Brigadiership."


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