Battle of Secessionville on James Island.
Striking from their base on Hilton Head Island, Union Gens. David Hunter and Henry Benham occupy Battery and Johns islands, south of Charleston, in early June. They plan to advance across James Island and lay siege to Charleston from the south. But, when Hunter returns to Hilton head, Benham disregards his orders to wait and attacks Confederate troops near Secessionville. The Confederates are outnumbered 4,500 to 1,000. But the marshy terrain forces the Union attack into the front of a Confederate artillery battery, commanded by Confederate Col. Thomas G. Lamar. Confederate forces commanded by Col. Johnson Hagood-- later promoted to general and, after the war, a president of The Citadel; the school’s football stadium is named for him -- attack a Union flank. The Union troops retreat, having lost almost 700 casualties to Confederate losses of less than 200. The defeat ends the Union’s most serious effort of the war to take Charleston by land.