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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 534 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

and Rhett, temporarily assigned as a division reserve to General D. H. Hill and accompanying his command; Lieutenant-Colonel Cutts, with three batteries of his battalion (those of Ross, Price, and Blackshear), advanced on the Williamsburg road to strengthen General Huger where his right had been engaged with the enemy on the previous day, and Colonel J. Thompson Brown,with several batteries of his regiment, constituting the remaining reserve, stationed near the fork of the Nine-mile road, whence they could speedily move in any direction.

With a command thus necessarily diffuses I could give only general direction to the whole and occasional personal supervision to each portion. I am happy, however, to be able to destiny that each, in proportion to opportunity, performed well its part, and was sincerely disappointed when opportunity proved but slight. They all came more or less into requisition during the varied and protracted contest, and some rendered peculiarly gallant and valuable service. The particulars will be briefly given in the sequel, and are more fully exhibited in the reports of the several commanders, herewith submitted.

My first personal care on the morning of Thursday, June 26, was devoted to our extreme right, where it seemed most likely the enemy might attempt and advance if he knew or suspected our movements. I therefore proceeded early that day to the scene of the preceding days' conflict, General Huger's right, and accompanied by his chief of artillery, Lieutenant-Colonel [J. A.] de Lagnel, and by Lieutenant-Colonel Cutts, made a reconnaissance some distance in advance of our lines. This, though at first apparently hazardous, proved entirely safe, as the enemy, so far from their advancing, had partially fallen back. Satisfied of this, and agreeing with the chief artillery officers as to the ground to be occupied and the course to be pursued should the enemy move forward, I passed to other points of that front, confident that in the event of sudden action Colonel Cutts, whose gallantry and capacity have been so well proved, would efficiently use the reserve under his charge in aiding General Huger to maintain his position. But no general or important move occurred on either side nor was the comparative quiet broken here, even after the firing had commenced near Mechanicsville, late in the afternoon.

On the morning of the 27th, finding our right still undisturbed, I applied myself to the line from Mechanicsville Bridge down the right bank of the Chickahominy, with a view to the service our batteries might there render. Major Richardson, with some long-range guns attacked to his command - especially two powerful rifles, partly managed by the appliances of his batteries and partly by a detail under Captain Masters, from General A. P. Hill's division-was already paying his respects to the enemy across the stream with apparently good effect; but as the shots endangered our own troops pursuing the retreating foe, a message from the commanding general caused to be discontinued this adjutant to the main attack. After great effort on the part of Captain Milledge, under Major Richardson's supervision, to conduct one of these large guns along the hill's summit down the stream, the route was found impracticable, and as guns of short range were unavailing, those batteries which had been under fire for several days were sent to the rear. Later in the day, however, Captain Ancell was permitted to take one of the long-range guns to the front, on the Nine-mile road, in the hope of an opportunity for service there, and subsequently Major Richardson succeeded in bringing the other by the same road with a similar hope.

My own route along the crest brought me about 9 a.m. to a point


Page 534 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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