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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 873 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Carolina Volunteer Rifles. I asked what were your orders. You replied that you wanted me to take a battery, with my regiment, which had been playing on our right and drive the enemy back. The battery was about 500 yards in that direction, pointing with your hand. I replied that I would do it if it were possible.

I placed the two flanking companies, Captains Perrin's and J. J. Norton's, 100 yards in front as skirmishers, covering the front of my regiment when deployed, and under the command of Captain Perrin. I placed Captain Miller's company 50 paces in rear of Captain Perrin's to support him, and Captain Miles M. Norton 50 paces in rear of Captain J. J. Norton to support him. I placed the four companies under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ledbetter in rear of these companies. Thus disposed, I placed the six remaining companies, viz, Captains Harrison's, Moore's, Cox's, Hennegan's, Hawthorne's, and Hadden's, all the captains being present and in command of their respective companies. Before giving the command to advance I called upon the regiment to remember the State from whence they came; to put their trust in God, and acquit themselves like men.

At this awful moment there was not a quiver nor a pallid cheek, nor a disposition to give way on account of feeble health, when there were, as I personally know, more than 20 men who had just risen from beds of sickness to participate in the battles. There was a calmness and settled determination on the part of every man to do or die in the attempt. I gave the command, "Double-quick, march!" and as soon as we had gained the old field, "Charge bayonets," at the same time deploying the six remaining companies to the left, supporting the entire line of skirmishers.

As soon as we emerged from the pines we were met by a most destructive fire from the enemy in front and on our left, and as soon as we had cleared about 100 of the old field two heavy batteries on our left, about 600 yards off, poured into our ranks a deadly fire of grape and canister.

Here it was that my adjutant, Lieutenant J. B. Sloan, was shot down at my side while gallantly aiding me and urging on the charge of the regiment. Here also fell Captain R. A. Hawthorne gallantly leading his company. A few paces farther fell Captain Hennegan, another noble spirit, leading his company. Close by his side fell his gallant lieutenant [Brown], and farther [on] fell the gallant and patriotic Lieutenant Samuel McFall, and near him fell Sergeant-Major McGee nobly cheering the men on to the charge.

My men, although now under three cross-fire, and falling thick and fast from one end of the line to the other, never once faltered. Finding no battery, they dashed on to the woods in front, where were posted seven regiments of the enemy, including the Pennsylvania Reserves. Here my men got the first chance to exchange shots. They commenced a deadly fire upon the enemy, advancing upon them as they delivered the fire, some of the men having it hand-to-hand, clubbing their rifles, then dispatching four or five with the bayonet; many taking deadly aim through the forks of trees. While this successful movement was going on the left wing of my regiment was about being outflanked by about 500 New York Zouaves, who came down upon my left in a desperate charge. I looked for my support, but could not see any, and then to the left of the field for the other two regiments, but could not see either of them, and thus I was left alone contending against seven regiments. At this time Lieutenant Higgins gathered around him some 30 riflemen, who poured into the ranks of the Zouaves such a deadly


Page 873 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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