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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 233 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

About 3 o'clock I learned that a crossing had also been effected by the enemy at Meadow Bridge, when the company at Mrs. Crenshaw's, being informed of it, also to avoid being cut off, fell back and joined some companies of the Bucktail Rifles, who were on picket a the bridge and upon the said road.

Skirmishing continued during the whole day, my men frequently driving back the advanced skirmishers of the enemy upon the main body, but, being advanced upon by large forces of infantry, were obliged to give way. They, however, held them at bay so much that not until between 3 and 4 o'clock p. m. did the rebels make their appearance in Mechanicsville, and during all that time my men were entirely unsupported by either infantry or artillery. I then brought in my men from that route. At about 1 o'clock I sent a company, under Captain Whitney, up the Pole Green Church road, and ascertained that the rebels had sent a force, who were approaching by that road. General Martindale, being informed of this, at once so disposed his force as to check them, otherwise they would inevitably have cut off the rear of the forces under General Reynolds at Mechanicsville. At night I put out companies upon the Old Church road and the Pole Green Church road, and held the main body of my command in hand near the intersection of these roads.

On the following morning, leaving one company under Captain Medill at the corner of the roads to cover the column and give notice to General Reynolds of the advance of the enemy by the Pole Green Church road, with the balance of my command I fell back in the rear of the forces of General Martindale to Old Cold Harbor. Captain Medill joined me, bringing up 15 fat cattle which had been abandoned by some quartermaster and which Captain Medill snatched from the very front of the enemy. During the preceding night Dr. Hard, the efficient surgeon of my regiment, succeeded in removing all my sick and wounded, some 40 in number, from my hospital and sending them to the White House Landing in safety.

Several times on Friday I sent messages through to General Stoneman in safety, the last time by your request. On Friday afternoon by your request I dispatched Companies E and K, under Captains Farnsworth and Kelley, to Dispatch Station, to picket and guard the approaches thereabouts. They saw no enemy until the following morning, but during the night they gathered up and sent across the Chickahominy near the railroad bridge numerous stragglers from our own army from the battle-field of Gaines' Mill.

On Saturday morning, however, the enemy's cavalry made their appearance. Skirmishing began and continued until afternoon, when, artillery coming up, my companies were obliged to fall back across the ford at Bottom's Bridge. During the forenoon, however, they succeeded in getting away all the sick and wounded, with the surgeons and nurses from the hospital at Dispatch Station, who were not informed of the proximity of the rebels until so informed by my officers. They also removed all the teams, wagons, and ambulances, and what hospital stores they could carry, and then burned the building with the remainder. They also killed several of the enemy, including the officer commanding the cavalry, whose horse was brought in by the man (Sergeant Freelove) who killed him.

During the battle of Friday afternoon the balance of my command stood to horse until a portion of your forces gave way, when, seeing the confusion, I directed my men to mount, then deployed them so as to stop the rout as far as possible. I regret to say we succeeded only


Page 233 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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