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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 624 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

insisted upon being at the head of his regiment, and attracted my particular attention by his gallantry.

Lieutenant-Colonel [John B.] Estes, of the Forty-fourth, was severely wounded, and 2 captains, 10 lieutenants, and 321 privates were killed and wounded in this regiment. Of the First North Carolina Regiment, Colonel Stokes and Major T. L. Skinner, 6 captains and the adjutant were killed and 133 privates were killed and wounded. These two regiments (never before under fire) were badly demoralized and scarcely preserved their organization in the subsequent operations. Captain H. A. Brown of the First North Carolina Regiment, and Captains [J. W.] Beck and [S. P.] Lumpkin, of the Forty-fourth Georgia, rallied the fragments of their commands, and are handsomely spoken of by Brigadier-General Ripley.

The Third North Carolina Regiment and the Forty-eighth Georgia were less exposed than the other two regiments of Ripley's brigade, and of consequence suffered less severely, but Major [Edward] Savage, of the Third North Carolina, fell badly wounded.

The batteries of Captain Rhett and Captain Hardaway were particularly distinguished in this engagement.

The division slept on the field that night. About 9 a.m. I received an order from General Lee to co-operate with Major-General Jackson on the Cold Harbor road, going by way of Bethesda Church. The route we had to take was found at daylight to be held by the enemy in force, with strong intrenchments mounted with artillery. I sent the brigades of Garland and Anderson to the left to turn the position, while my other three brigades and all the division artillery were kept on the main road, ready to advance when the rear of the works was gained. The Yankees abandoned their earthworks when Garland and Anderson gained their rear and the whole division moved on.

The shorter road, upon which Major-General Jackson marched, being obstructed he was compelled to turn off and follow in my rear. We therefore reached Cold Harbor first, capturing a few wagons ambulances, and prisoners. The division moved up cautiously to the edge of Powhite Swamp, where the Yankees were found to be strongly posted, with ten pieces of artillery commanding the only road upon which our guns could be moved. Captain Bondurant's battery was brought into action, but in less than half an hour was withdrawn and badly crippled. By the order of Major-General Jackson the division was moved back to the edge of the woods parallel to the road to cut off the retreat of the enemy from the attack of Major-Generals Longstreet and A. P. Hill.

It soon became apparent, however, that the fire on our right was receding and that the Yankees were gaining ground. Jackson's division and mine were then ordered forward to the support of Longstreet and A. P. Hill, who had been hotly engaged for several hours. My division occupied the extreme left of the whole Confederate line. The order of advance of the division was, Garland on the left, next Anderson, next Rodes, next Colquitt; Ripley being on the extreme right. In advancing we had a dense swamp to cross, with tangled undergrowth, and the radius of the wheeling circle had to be shortened. These combined causes produced much confusion and a lapping of brigades and the separation of regiments from their proper places. Several regiments of my division were thrown into the rear and did not engage the enemy. The Forty-eighth Georgia and the fragments of the Forty-fourth Georgia (Ripley's brigade) were thus thrown into the rear. The Sixth and Twenty-seventh Georgia (Colquitt's brigade) were the only regiments of their brigade which drew trigger. The other three regiments


Page 624 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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