No. 319. Report of Major Joseph R. Cubell,
Thirty-eighth Virginia Infantry, of the battle of Malvern Hill.
HDQRS. THIRTY-EIGHTH VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS, July 11, 1862.
SIR: I most respectfully submit the following report of the part taken by the Thirty-eighth Virginia Regiment in the engagement with the enemy at Malvern Hill, July 1:
I,with 50 men deployed as skirmishers, was ordered to proceed to the edge of the wood to watch and report the movements of the enemy; soon after which I was ordered to pull down the fence and advance my line, which was accordingly being done when Colonel Edmonds came up with the regiment in single file with orders to charge the enemy's picket and drive them in, and hold the hill far enough in advance for our artillery to get position and play upon the enemy. The charge was well executed, and as the regiment came up I ordered my command to join in with in, and the enemy were driven pell-mell before them, and we held our position from 12 m. until about 5.30 p.m. When Generals Mahone and Wright came up with their brigade the order was given to charge, which was obeyed with promptness and alacrity, the Thirty-eighth being on the right and leading the charge. After getting in about 75 yards of the enemy they were halted and commenced a terrific fire, after which the order was given to charge, which the men did most gallantly-attempted five separate and district charges, but were compelled to fall back for the double reason of not being supported on the left and the heavy re-enforcements coming up to the support of the enemy.
The regiment remained upon the advanced line until night-fall, when they were withdrawn by Colonel Edmonds after all the ammunition had been exhausted.
The men all the time displayed great individual coolness, courage, and gallantry, doing during the whole fight the most terrible execution. Our color-sergeant, L. P. H. Tarpley, to whom the colors were given upon the battle-field at Seven Pines by Major General D. H. Hill, which he promised he would carry until he fell, did not falsify his word. He always kept the colors in advance, the last order given him being to move slower. The colors were then taken successively by Color Corpls. Cornelius Gilbert, mortally wounded (since died), and C. C. Gregory, John Burlington, and L. D. Watkins, all severely wounded. Private Churchwell Parker, Company F, then took them and was almost instantly killed. Lieutenant-Colonel Whittle then took the colors and gallantry bore them forward, when he too, while considerably in advance of the regiment, was severely wounded, having the large bone in one arm broken. Captain R.t. Daniel, adjutant Fifth Kentucky Regiment, being on furlough, volunteered for the fight and was assigned to the command of Company F, grasped the colors and coolly and calmly waving them, appeared not to be moving a muse save the motion of his arm. He was calling on the company which he so well commanded to rally around them when he fell pierced with three balls. As he fell he drove the staff into the action the ground, still holding on to it until taken from him by Colonel Edmonds, in whose hands the staff was soon after shot with grape and literally shivered into fragments. The colors were borne from the field by the only remaining color-corporal, William M. Bohannon,