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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 536 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

for him a confidential message to the commanding general. This, with its sequences - arrangements with division commanders, by General Lee's order, for having the enemy's movements vigilantly watched that night - kept me at work till past 1 o'clock.

Fever supervening disabled me on the 29th, so that the day was necessarily passed by me as a quiet Sabbath. Portions of my command were, however, quite actively engaged, under arrangements already described, in pursuing, with other forces, the retreating enemy.

During the two preceding days Colonel Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman had sought opportunity to be of use beyond the Chickahominy. The latter accompanied two batteries of the regiment, the Richmond Fayette Artillery, Lieutenant Clopton commanding, and the Williamsburg Artillery, Captain Coke, ordered on the morning of the 27th to report to General Lee at Mechanicsville, as he had requested. Those batteries were held as part of the reserve of that portion of the army. Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman was called to act as chief of artillery for General A. P. Hill's division during several days, Major R. L. Walker being at the time sick. Colonel Brown became a close spectator of the Friday evening's struggle, and brought his experience and authority to bear in extricating one of his companies - Third Howitzers, Captain Smith, on duty with a brigade - from a perilous position, in which they could do no good.

The reserve battalion of Major Jones, accompanying General D. H. Hill's division, was much engaged those several days and did excellent service, as it did also subsequently in the encounter at White Oak Swamp, eliciting from their commander a warm eulogium for their gallantry and for the honorable fact that there was not one straggler from their ranks the entire week.

On Monday, 30th, I was again able to be in the field, and employed the forenoon in ascertaining [the] movements in progress and adjusting to them the arrangements of my own command. The afternoon was given to making sure of three large rifle guns for use in the field on Tuesday if needed and practicable.

Tuesday morning, July 1, was spent by me in seeking for some time the commanding general, that I might get orders, and by reason of the intricacy of routes failing in this in examining positions near the two artillery force, and especially whether any position could be reached whence our large guns might be used to good purpose. These endeavors had of course to be made again and under the enemy's shells, yet no site was found from which the large guns could play upon the enemy without endangering our own troops, and no occasion was presented for bringing up the reserve artillery - indeed, it seemed that not one-half of the division batteries were brought into action on either Monday or Tuesday. To remain near by, therefore, and await events and orders, in readiness for whatever service might be called for, was all that I could do. Here again it was my privilege to be thrown with the President, he having arrived some time after night-fall at the house near the battle-field, where I had just before sought a resting place.

On Wednesday, 2nd, active operations being interfered with by a heavy rain, my main efforts were directed to examining a number of batteries, sending to the rear some that had been injured, and having taken to Richmond such of the captured ordnance as had not been previously removed.

Thursday, 3rd, the retreat of the enemy beyond Turkey Creek having


Page 536 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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