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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 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)

the color company and color guard, under command of Captain Kennedy, retained its position for some time after the troops on my right and left had disappeared, and until he received a direct order from me to fall back. The officers upon this occasion, so far as I could see, made every effort to keep their men in line. The regiment was reformed on the road and the report showed a list of 12 wounded. At 4.30 on the morning of the 6th we again advanced in line of battle through the woods. We continued to advance slowly until 7 a. m., when a heavy fire was opened by the regiments on my right and left, which was taken up for a short time by my regiment. I soon, however, succeeded in stopping it, as I considered it perfectly useless, as we were at that time receiving no fire from the enemy, neither was he in sight. The regiment continued to advance, with frequent halts, until about 9 a. m., when we received a heavy volley from the enemy. Advancing some distance farther the line was halted, a skirmish line thrown out, and the regiment remained int his position until shots were received from our left and rear, when a change of front was ordered by Colonel Swell, then in command of the Fifth, Sixth, and Eleventh Regiments New Jersey Volunteers. This change of front took place about 10.30 a. m. At 11 the enemy wee heard advancing on our front with heavy firing and cheering. Soon after the troops composing the front line passed over us in much confusion. I then passed along the whole length of my regiment and directed them to reserve their fire until they received orders. At this time there were but few of the enemy's shots passing over us. The approaching yell and loud firing gave us sufficient warning of the advance and position of the enemy. In a few minutes I directed the regiment to commence firing. The regiment with scarcely ad exception acted with perfect coolness; not a man flinched. There seemed to be a determination to retrieve what they had lost the day previous. This fire was continued for some time, when the regiment on my immediate left fell back. The one on my right followed. I turned to ask Colonel Sewell for instructions, and I was told by one of my officers that he had gone to the rear with the remainder of the line. At this time an officer from the left of the regiment came to me and said that Colonel Sewell had left orders for me to fall back. As no troops were to be seen on either my right or left, I deemed it proper to do so. the regiment retired to the Brock road, were it took position in rear of the second line of works on the left of the Sixteenth Massachusetts. It remained in this position during the afternoon, assisting in the repulse of the enemy at 4, and also took part in the charge upon the first line of works, which had been captured by the enemy and from which they were driven.

At 4.30 p. m. May 7 the regiment, after moving to the right of the plank road with the brigade, was detailed for picket, where it remained until 10 a. m. the next day.


The march to Spotsylvania Court-House and the operations in front of that place.

On Monday, May 8, at 10 a. m., the regiment was drawn in from the picket-line, and composed a portion of the rear guard from the Wilderness to a point near Todd's Tavern, where it joined the brigade early in the afternoon, and at once commenced putting up breast-works.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 36, Part 1 (Wilderness-Cold Harbor)
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