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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 208 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

onel Rowley; the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania, commanded by Colonel Ballier; the Ninety-third Pennsylvania, commanded by Captain Long; the Sixty-second New York, commanded by Colonel Nevin; and the Fifty-fifth New York, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Thourot.

The position of the brigade was on the right of the division line of battle, the right of the brigade resting on a deep ravine running obliquely to the front, and impassable for artillery and cavalry, but practicable for infantry, the edge of the ravine on the right being covered by a thin belt of woods. From the right the brigade line extended to the left in an open field, except at a small space of woods which covered the left enter. The ground in our rear was uncovered for three-fourths of a mile.

In front of our line of battle the ground was open and admitted the easy passage of any troops except in front of our left center, which was wooded, the cover extending to within some 500 yards of our front. The brigade line was formed a little before 8 a. m., and immediately after Captain Moser's [?] New York battery reported to me and was posted in our line so as to sweep the open ground in our front, and if necessary to shell the woods. Before the enemy had completed his disposition for attack, having already got some of his artillery into position in our front, an order was received withdrawing Captain Moser's [?] battery, and although the ground wa admirably adapted for the play of artillery, I was left for a time without any with which I could reply to that of the enemy. A little before 9 a. m. the enemy succeeded in placing a field battery about 1,200 yards in advance of our front, and a second battery at a more distant point to our right and front.

When the enemy, without any annoyance from us, had quite completed his artillery preparations, he opened fire upon our lines with his two batteries. Their artillerymen were without the range of our rifles, and I ordered the brigade to lie down and await the advance of their infantry.

The rebel battery nearest us was worked with much speed and some skill, occasionally doing some little injury within our lines; but the battery more distant was not worthy of any notice, doing us no manner of injury or even approaching it.

When the rebel batteries had continued their fire to their satisfaction the enemy threw forward, under cover of the woods in our front, a large body of infantry, and attacked our center. When the attacking force came within the range of our arms our whole line sprang to their feet and poured into the enemy a withering fire. The rebels stood well up to their work and largely outnumbered us, but our men had the vantage ground and were determined not to yield it. The firing continued with much violence on both sides, but the fire of the enemy, being generally too high, did us comparatively little injury. Soon, however, the advantage of our grounds and the superiority of our arms became evident in the effects of our fire upon the enemy. The enemy began to waver. I then ordered the One hundred and second Pennsylvania, Colonel Rowley, which was held in reserve, to advance with our line upon the enemy. Nobly and gallantly did every man of the regiment respond to the order, and the impetuous dash of our men the enemy could not stand, but gave way, and were sent back, much cut up and in disorder, over the ground on which they advanced. This success gave us much advantage of position, by allowing the left center of the brigade line to rest upon the woods, some 800 yards in advance of our first position, and at the same time affording us a cross-fire upon any second attempt of the enemy upon our position.


Page 208 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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