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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 824 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

the position of the enemy. We were here supported by a Georgia regiment, which, having charged under mistaken orders, soon returned to their original position with General Wright's brigade. Thus it was that my regiment, with a part of the Fourteenth Virginia, under the command of a captain, [and] a part of the Fifty-third, Colonel Tomlin, held this advanced position for three hours awaiting orders. Receiving none, I sent Major Cabell to General Armistead asking orders, who returned with instruction that we must hold our position, and that re-enforcements would soon be at hand. I am proud to say we did hold our position through all the storm of bullets, canister, grape [and] shell, with occasional shells from the huge pieces playing upon us from the gunboats, until we saw they gallant Wright, with hat off and glittering blade, leading his brigade across the hill to our support.

New life was infused among those wearied with watching and waiting; every man was at this post; loud shouts of welcome rent the air; all sprang to their feet, feeling certain of victory with such a support Being the ranking colonel of the brigade (Colonel Hodges being stunned and having his beard singed by the explosion of a shell when just emerging from the wood), General Armistead being absent, I gave the order to charge, which was most gallantly performed by all engaged. Again leading, closely followed by General Wright's brigade until we reached the musket-range of the enemy's supports to his artillery, where the fire from both became so galling a momentary pause ensued. Six times was the attempt made to charge the batteries by the regiment of Armistead's brigade (just mentioned) and as many times did they fail for want of support of the left, involving the necessity of falling back a short distance under the cover of the brow of the hill.

Every man most nobly on that occasion; all officers and men, heedless of the deadly fire to which they were exposed, seemed intent upon gaining the enemy's position.

I have the painful duty to announce the loss of my color-sergeant (L. P. H. Tarpley), first color-corporal (Cornelius Gilbert), and Private Parker, of Company F, who fell upon the field while bearing the colors in advance of the regiment during the charges made. Color-Corporals Watkins, Burlington, and Gregory were severely wounded each in turn as they grasped the colors. They were then seized by Lieutenant-Colonel Whittle, who was badly wounded and compelled to retire. Captain Daniel (volunteer officer, commanding Company F) then took them, and he, too, fell severely wounded in three places, and was borne the field. I then took them for a while, and when in the act of handing them over to the only remaining color guard, who claimed the right to carry them, the staff was shattered, the flag falling, but not upon the ground; it was caught by Color Corpl. William M. Bohannon, who stuck it upon his bayonet and gallantly bore it the remainder of the fight.

I beg to mention particularly all of my color guard as deserving the highest commendation, and would recommend that some distinctive badge be given them. I also desire to return my thanks to Lieutenant

Colonel P. B. Whittle, who acted his part most gallantly, proving himself worthy of the position he held, daring all things, fearing nothing.

Volunteer Captain R. T. Daniel performed every duty in the most creditable manner, though among strangers. His deeds won their confidence and respect and attested his gallantry. I observed him particularly when waving the colors and urging the men forward, not a muscle or nerve betraying a want of firmness; calmness and composure was expressed


Page 824 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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