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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 556 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

down a precipitous ravine, leaping ditch and stream, clambering up a difficult ascent, and exposed to an incessant and deadly fire from the intrenchments, these brave and determined men pressed forward, driving the enemy from his well-selected nd fortified position.

In this charge, in which upward of 1,000 men fell killed and wounded before the fire of the enemy and in which fourteen pieces of artillery and nearly a regiment were captured, the Fourth Texas, under the lead of General Hood, was the first to pierce these strongholds and seize the guns. Although swept from their defenses by this rapid and almost matchless display of daring and valor, the well-disciplined Federals continued in retreat to fight with stubborn resistance.

Apprehensive, from their superior numbers and sullen obstinacy, that the enemy might again rally, General Whiting called upon General Longstreet for re-enforcements. He promptly sent forward General R. H. Anderson's brigade, which came in gallant style to his support, and the enemy was driven to the lower part of the plateau. The shouts of triumph which rose from our brave men as they, unaided by artillery, had stormed this citadel of their strength, were promptly carried from line to line, and the triumphant issue of this assault, with the well-directed fire of the batteries and successful charges of Hill and Winder upon the enemy's right, determined the fortunes of the day. The Federals, routed at every point and aided by the darkness of the night, escaped across the Chickahominy.

During the earlier part of the action the artillery could not be effectively used, At an advanced stage of it Major John Pelham, of Stuart's Horse Artillery, bravely dashed forward and opened on the Federal batteries posted on the left of our infantry. Re-enforced by the guns of Brockenbrough, Carrington, and Courtney, of my command, our artillery now numbered about thirty pieces. Their fire was well directed and effective, and contributed to the successful issue of the engagement.

On the following dy, the 28th, General Ewell, preceded by a cavalry force, advanced down the north side of the Chickahominy to Dispatch Station and destroyed a portion of the railroad track.

On the 29th he moved his division to the vicinity of Bottom's Bridge to prevent the enemy crossing at that point, but on the following day was ordered to return to co-operate with the movements of the corps.

The 28th and 29th were occupied in disposing of the dead and wounded and repairing Grapevine Bridge, over the Chickahominy, which McClellan's forces had used in their retreat and destroyed in their rear.

During the night of the 29th we commenced crossing the Chickahominy, and on the following morning arrived at Savage Station, on the Richmond and York River Railroad, where a summer hospital, remarkable for the extent and convenience of its accommodations, fell into our possession. In it were about 2,500 sick and wounded, besides some 500 persons having charge of the patients.

Many other evidences of the hurried and disordered flight of the enemy were now visible-blankets, clothing, and other supplies had been recklessly abandoned. D. H. Hill, who had the advance, gathered up probably 1,000 stragglers and so many small-arms that it became necessary to detach two regiments to take charge of them and to see to the security of the prisoners.

About noon we reached White Oak Swamp, and here the enemy made a determined effort to retard our advance and thereby to prevent an immediate junction between General Longstreet and myself. We found the bridge destroyed and the ordinary place of crossing commanded


Page 556 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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