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55th Pa. Vols.

Transcribed from the Ebensburg Alleghanian November 6. 1862

Co. A, 55th Penna. Vols., in the late Battle in South Carolina
Full List of Killed, Wounded and Missing, etc. etc.

[We are permitted through favor of E. F. Lytle, Esq.,
to take the following extracts from a private letter, giving
full and interesting details concerning the participation of
Co. A., 55th Penna. Vols., in the late bloody battle near
Pocotaligo, South Carolina.]

Beaufort, S.C., Oct. 24, 1862

After advancing with skirmishing, some five or six miles from
Mackay's Point we found a battery very advantageously posted to
rake the road. The first shot was fired at three minutes after
12. Our brigade was formed in column, closed in mass, and the
47th P.V. formed in the line of battle. The shells and round shot,
meanwhile, were flying in all directions, and men were falling all
around us. Here Wm. Gallagher was wounded.

The 47th P.V. then charged bayonets on the battery, when it
fell back through the wood and crossed a swamp some 80 or 100 yards
wide, over a causeway, tore up the small bridge, and coming into
position on the other side, again opened on us. We closed in to the
edge of the woods and lay down in a cotton field, while our battery
was engaging that of the enemy. We lay for about fifteen minutes,
being at the time under the fire of both the artillery and the musketry
of the enemy, when we were ordered to advance through the woods. We did
so and got out of the range of the grape and shell. Sergeant Harry Marlett,
James Reilly and J. H. Wagner were wounded as we advanced through the wood.
We had not yet fired a shot.

We got through the woods considerably scattered, but got together
again and lay down for about an hour when the enemy's battery was
silenced. They fell back some three miles to a stronger position where
they had entrenchments and a marsh about one hundred and fifty or two
hundred yards wide and impassable only by the causeway and over the
bridge. The latter they had destroyed.

We heard them open fire on the second line of battle when we were
nearly two miles back. We came up on quick and double quick time, close
after the 6th Connecticut. This regiment was ordered up on double
quick, but they failed to get forward. They then came back to me-I was
in the front-and ordered me forward at double quick, past the 6th
Connecticut and 4th N.H., and form a line of battle with our right
resting on the road. I did so and had formed our company on the right
by file on the line when I was hit by a spent grape shot, causing a
severe bruise on my right leg.

At this time and before the regiment had time to all get on the
line, one of the General's aids came back hunting sharpshooters to pick
off the cannoniers from the enemy's battery. I told him we were ready to
go anywhere we were needed, when he order us to go and engage them. We
went forward along the road, the grape shot, shell and musket balls
falling about us like hail but the Mountain boys never flinching, until
we got into position and opened fire on the battery. At our second
fire, the battery left the field, the enemy having no men to man their
guns, as soon as they any showed themselves, they being shot down.
At this time they were reinforced by ten thousand fresh troops, and
formed a line of battle on our front, protected by rifle pits and
embankments and opened fire on us with musketry. Companies B, D, E,
and K were on my left and a few companies of the 76th P.V. on my right.
We kept up a fire of musketry and artillery for some two hours, when
our cartridges becoming exhausted, I sent for a fresh supply. None
coming, we fired our last ball and then laid down under a most galling
fire for some twenty minutes. By this time, it was growing dark and
the firing had begun to slacken, so we fell back out of range in good
order, halting twice to form parties coming up and marched off. Just
as we were getting on the road, Orderly Sergeant Alstead, Sergt. Hodge
and James Litzinger were wounded.

The loss in Co. A is as follows:
Killed: Sergt. Samuel Hester
Wounded: Sergt. Alstead, right shoulder
Sergt. Hodge, left leg, flesh wound
Sergt Marlett, right arm, slightly.
Hugh M'Atamany, severely wounded in groin, missing [d. Oct. 22, 1862]
William Gallagher, severely
James Reilly, left side, severely
J. H. Wagner, slightly
James Litzinger, severely, right thigh, flesh wound

Col. White had considerable praise. Major Filler is brave to a

We had advanced about ten miles and were within one and a half miles
of the railroad, but were forced to retire without accomplishing our
object. We marched back to the landing and lay all night in the field.
Went on board the Flora and arrived at Beaufort last night at ten
o'clock and came direct to camp. So closes our first hard fight of the

D. W. Fox
First Lieut. Com'dg Co. A., 55th P.V.

Keywords/Tags: E. F. Lytle, Sergeant Harry Marlett, James Reilly, J. H. Wagner, Orderly Sergeant Alstead, Sergeant Hodge, James Litzinger, Sergeant Samuel Hester, Hugh McAtamany, William Gallagher, J. H. Wagner, Colonel White, Major Filler, D. W. Fox, 55th PA Volunteers, 47th PA Volunteers, 76th PA Volunteers, 6th Connecticut, 4th New Hampshire, Company B, Company D, Company E, Company K, Cambria County, Ebensburg Alleghanian, Pocotaligo