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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 563 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

and press through the woods to the firing, now become very heavy. This was at once done, the Texas Brigade on the left and Law's on the right, a regiment of each in reserve, the troops forcing their way in good order in line of battle through a dense forest and swamp. We came out on the Telegraph road in a heavy, but distant, fife of artillery about 4 p.m. At this point I met several aides from different generals, all desiring assistance, and informing me that the troops of both Generals D. H. and A. P. Hill were hard pressed. Advancing, I shortly met the commander-in-chief, who indicated a direction a little to my right.

The field where we entered it was about the head of the ravine, which covered the enemy's left near the main road, a deep and steep chasm, dividing the bluffs of the Chickahominy. On the left side of this, as we fronted, General Hood put forward the First Texas and Hampton's Legion. Men were leaving the field in every direction and in great disorder; two regiments, one from South Carolina and one from Louisiana, were actually marching back from the fire. The First Texas was ordered to go over them or through the, which they did; the remaining Texas regiments were rapidly advance, forming line on the right of the ravine, and the Third Brigade again on their right, and, pressing on, the whole line came under the enemy's fire. Here, from the nature of the ground and position of the enemy, the Third changed front obliquely to the left, bringing its front parallel to the ravine. The enemy, concealed in the woods and protected by the ravine, poured a destructive fire upon the advancing line for a quarter of mile, and many brave officers and men fell. Near the crest in front of us and lying down appeared the fragments of a brigade; men were skulking from the front in a shameful manner; the woods on our left and rear were full of troops in safe cover, from which they never stirred; but on the right of the Third a brigade [Pickett's] was moving gallantly up; still farther on the extreme right our troops appeared to be falling back.

The Texans had now come up and joined line on the left, led by General Hood, and the gallant Fourth at the double-quick, when the word was given to charge, and the whole line, consisting of the Fourth and Fifth Texas, Eighteenth Georgia, Eleventh Mississippi, Fourth Alabama, and Sixth North Carolina, the Second Mississippi being held in partial reserve, but advancing with the line, charged the ravine with a yell, General Hood and Colonel Law gallantly heading their men. At the bottom ran a deep and difficult branch, with scared sides, answering admirably as a ditch. Over against this was a strong log breastwork, heavily manned; above this, near the crest, another breastwork, supported by well-served batteries and a heavy force of infantry, the steep slope, clad with an open growth of timber, concealing the enemy, but affording full view of our movements. Spite of these terrible obstacles, over ditch and breastwork, hill, batteries, and infantry, the division swept, routing the enemy from their stronghold. Many pieces of artillery were taken [fourteen in all] and nearly a whole regiment of the enemy. These prisoners were turned over by Colonel J. B. Robertson, Fifth Texas, to Brigadier-General Pryor or some of his staff. The enemy continued to fight in retreat with stubborn resistance, and it soon appeared that we had to do with his best troops. On gaining the second line and seeing the heavy force, apprehensive that he might rally, I went to Major-General Longstreet for re-enforcements. He immediately sent forward Brigadier General R. H. Anderson, who went in on my right and engaged and drove the enemy most handsomely on the lower


Page 563 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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