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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 814 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

Georgia Regiment or its commander, Colonel R. H. Jones. After a long search and considerable delay I discovered Colonel Jones approaching from the rear, where he had been some mile or more, without my assent, knowledge, or approval. He had received a slight scratch in the face from a fragment of shell, left his command, and retired to the rear. I ordered him to collect his regiment and form on the left of the First Louisiana Regiment. This he failed to do, and in the subsequent severe fighting which occurred that afternoon no portion of that regiment was engaged except the small number who, under Major Joseph Wasden, had in the first advance got over into the hollow in the field.

Major-General Magruder came on the field about 4 o'clock, and, assuming command, directed the future movements of my brigade. I was ordered by him to advance, supported by Brigadier-General Mahone's brigade, upon the enemy's right, and charge upon the enemy's batteries. This movement was to be simultaneous with an advance upon the enemy's left and center. I immediately took my brigade around by a flank movement to the right,and by filing to the left under the edge of the bluff got it in line in the hollow already occupied by the Fourth Georgia and portions of the Twenty-second and Third Georgia. Here I formed my line, the Fourth Georgia upon the right, the First Louisiana and a few of the Twenty-second Georgia, under Major Wasden, in the center, and the Third Georgia on the left. I had lost a few men wounded getting into this position, and the enemy, detecting the movement, opened a furious fire upon us, but my gallant soldiers lay quietly upon their faces, ready and eager for the order to advance.

At 4.45 o'clock I received an order from General Magruder, through Captain Henry Bryan, one of his staff, to advance immediately and charge the enemy's batteries. No other troops had yet come upon the field. I ordered my men forward,and springing before them led my brigade, less than 1,000 men, against a force I knew to be superior in the ratio of at least twenty to one. Onward we pressed, warmly and strongly supported by General Mahone's brigade, under a murderous fire of shot, shell, canister, and musketry. At every step my brave men fell around me, but the survivors pressed on until we had reached a hollow about 300 yards from the enemy's batteries on the right. Here I perceived that a strong force of infantry had been sent forward on our left by the enemy with a view of flanking and cutting us off from our support, now more than, 1,000 yards in our rear. I immediately threw the left of the Third Georgia Regiment a little back along the upper margin of the hollow, and suddenly changing [the] front of this regiment, poured a galling fire upon the enemy, which he returned with spirit, aided by a fearful direct and cross-fire from his batteries. Here the contest raged with varying success for more than three-quarters of an hour; finally the line of the enemy was broken and he gave way in great disorder.

In the mean time my front, supported by General Mahone, had been subjected to a heavy fire of artillery and musketry and had begun to waver, and I feared would be compelled to fall back. Just at this moment firing was heard far away on our left,and soon we saw our columns advancing upon the enemy's center. This diverted a portion of the enemy's fire from us, and I succeeded in keeping my men steady. We had now approached to within a few hundred yards of the enemy's advanced batteries, and again I gave the order to charge, which was obeyed with promptness and alacrity. We rushed forward up the side of the hill, under the brow of which we had been for some time halted,


Page 814 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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