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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 244 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

tain Pennington, to a favorable position farther to the right and slightly advanced. The last of our troops passed about 5 o'clock a. m., and in a few minutes the enemy made their appearance and opened a fire of musketry upon Captain Pennington's section, which at once opened on and checked them. My other two sections at the same time opened fire upon troops advancing along the road. These were likewise checked.

I remained at this position until I supposed all of our troops had passed beyond Gaines' Mill, when I moved slowly to the rear. Arriving at Gaines' Mill, I found that some overloaded wagons had obstructed the road by the bridge, and quite a number of ambulances and a battery of volunteer artillery were not yet across, and all those belonging thereto, as well as numerous stragglers, were engaged in ransacking sutlers' stores. It took me about two hours to start forward these vehicles, battery, and stragglers, after which I crossed over my own battery, and, destroying both bridges, remained about one hour longer at this place. The skirmishers of the enemy in the mean time advanced, but it was only occasionally that bodies large enough to fire upon would make their appearance. Withdrawing a short distance farther, I remained at Little Cold Harbor until about 11 o'clock a. m., when I received an order from General Porter to rejoin him with my battery at Gaines' Mill, which I accordingly did.

After expressing his entire satisfaction at the manner in which I had performed the delicate duty assigned me, he directed me to report for further duty to Brigadier-General Sykes. Shortly afterward (about 1 o'clock p. m.) the enemy, appearing in force, opened fire with their batteries, and the battle of the Chickahominy, or Gaines' Mill, commenced. Soon thereafter General Sykes ordered me to place my battery on the extreme right of our position, there to assist Captain Weed, of the Fifth Artillery, who was then engaged with the enemy, then playing fiercely with his artillery from the ridge in front of his right flank. Hastening up at a trot and coming into battery, it required but a few minutes to silence the enemy at this point and cause him to change the position on his guns. The ground upon my left sloped off to a marshy slough, fringed with trees and bushes. Along this was posted a battalion of regular infantry (the Fourth), for my support; on my right and front came down to within 200 yards the point of a pine forest; directly in my front along the ridge, at about 1,000 yards' distance, was a growth of young pines, and farther around to my left extended a thin strip of pine woods; upon my left was the open field where was posted the Third Regiment Regular Infantry. In about half an hour the enemy again returned with his guns, and placing them behind the small pines already mentioned opened a hot fire upon us. Sheltered as they were from our view it required an unusual amount of shelling to silence them. In this way at irregular intervals the enemy would return and as often be driven back by our fire.

In the mean while the battle raged upon the ridge extending around upon my left. About 4 o'clock p. m. our troops at this point for a time were forced back, and the enemy threatened to sweep down through the thin pine woods before mentioned as being upon my left and front. I at once changed front, so as to meet with canister this new danger. A few rounds were fired into the woods and shell into the open space beyond, which was now occupied by the enemy. Repeated charges of our infantry cleared this space, as far I could see, of the enemy, and not knowing the position of our troops in this direction, I was fearful of continuing the fire. The ground in rear of my battery not admitting


Page 244 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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