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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 870 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

quartermaster, as directed, remained with the train at our camp upon Smith's farm.

In regard to the fight of Monday night the general well knows how suddenly we were called upon to go into it. We had marched all day until late in the evening, and soon after we arrived in the neighborhood of the fight it was represented to us that the enemy was turning the left of our lines. I was directed to form the Fourteenth, which was the leading regiment, in line of battle immediately, and sent forward through the thick undergrowth, skirmishers, to feel the enemy and as' certain his position. I accordingly sent forward Captain West, who threw out his men as skirmishers and gallantly advanced some 300 yards toward our left and front. In a few moments he returned, stating that he had found General Featherston in the undergrowth wounded, who informed him that the enemy's skirmishers were all around him, that he was in danger of being captured, and that if any Confederate troops were near at hand they should advance at once. As soon as Captain West made this report my regiment was ordered forward through a perfect jungle of vines and bushes. We took the direction indicated by the skirmishers, and as soon as we approached the open ground in which the enemy had hastily thrown up a breastwork we fell upon his skirmishers, who upon our approach scattered and fled in every direction. The regiment was halted at the edge of the cleared ground and volley after volley thrown into the ranks of the enemy, who returned upon us a very hot and fatal fire. In this musketry fight some of my men, having obtained patent cartridges, shot seventy times. At one time, just after dark, the belief seemed to take possession of the enemy, as it did of ourselves, that we were mutually fighting our friends, and the firing ceased for a time entirely. During the cessation of fire an officer came over to us and inquired who we were. I demanded to know to what regiment he belonged; to which he replied the Twentieth Indiana, which was in the woods to our left and front. Thereupon he was politely informed that he was in the midst of the Fourteenth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, and at the same time ordered to the rear for safe-keeping. A few moments after this interview an officer of the enemy was distinctly heard to give the command, "Commence firing," and in a moment the whole ridge in our front was a sheet of flame. They poured into the regiment for a short time the most destructive fire. We, however, held our ground and returned the fire until the enemy fled. The Fourteenth certainly fired the last gun in the battle of Monday. We remained on the ground until all the firing had ceased, and then joined the other regiments of the brigade. Once during the evening the enemy endeavored to turn our left flank, but Lieutenant-Colonel Simpson directed upon them the fire of the left companies, and with distinguished gallantry drove them back. If we could have had a regiment on our left we certainly would have captured the Twentieth Indiana Regiment.

In this contest also, as well as that of Friday, we lost many valuable officers and men. Captains Owens, Harper, and Stuckly were wounded, the first two I fear very seriously. Lieutenant Davis died gallantly on the field, and Lieutenants Watson and Miller were wounded, besides many others killed and wounded, a list of whom is inclosed.* Seven captains went into the fight-6 were wounded, leaving only 1 for duty.

In the combat of Monday night we took about 20 prisoners, the names and regiments of some of whom are remembered: Harrison Patrick, Twelfth Pennsylvania Reserves, Company B; Frederick Harvey, Fortieth

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*Not found.

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Page 870 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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