eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XI | Pages range from 1 to 994

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 640 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

pike just behind the crest of the commanding hills which overlook the Chickahominy, where we remained in position, masked from the observation of the enemy, until Major General A. P. Hill's troops should carry Mechanicsville from the other side. This part of the plan being at length accomplished late in the afternoon, this brigade, along with the rest of the division and Major-General Longstreet's, crossed the Chickahominy, and was drawn up in line of battle under the crest of a hill on the right of the turnpike just in rear of Anderson's brigade. In taking this position the brigade was exposed to a severe artillery fire from the works of the enemy on the Beaver Dam Creek. The fire ceasing as night closed in, the men slept upon their arms in line of battle.

At an early hour on the morning of the 27th we were put in motion, to move off to the position assigned the division en echelon to Major-General Jackson's column on the left as we swept down the Chickahominy. To reach this position it was necessary to cross the Beaver Dam Creek. The line of the Mechanicsville turnpike being still obstructed by an earthwork of the enemy, where they had artillery and some infantry, while our artillery engaged that of the enemy and part of the division remained to support it, this brigade, along with that of General Anderson, moved up a road more to the left, and turning in through the country and crossing the creek higher up at a secret ford, turned the position of the enemy and gained the Mechanicsville turnpike again without firing a shot. The enemy meanwhile withdrew their guns and retired, leaving the way open for the artillery to come up from Mechanicsville and the other brigades also. The whole division was now reunited and effected a junction with Major-General Jackson's forces near where the road from Pole Green Church crosses the turnpike.

From thence we moved to Jackson's left, and taking a circuitous route by Bethesda Church, proceeded to Cold Harbor and thence toward New Cold Harbor, which point we reached early in the afternoon of Friday, the 27th. As we approached a road crossing the line of our route near New Cold Harbor the enemy was discovered in line of battle with artillery to oppose our progress. Their position was quite a strong one and dispositions were made for an engagement. Captain Bondurant's battery, of this brigade, being brought up to the front, took position just to the right of the road, and Anderson's brigade being in line of battle on the right, this brigade was placed in line of battle on the left of and perpendicular to the road by which we had advanced, the Fifth North Carolina, on the right, holding a little copse of timber just next the battery and the road, the rest of the line in the edge of a second growth of diminutive pines, which should be called a jungle-- not a piece of timber---through which I threw forward a line of skirmishers to the farther side, next and near to the enemy. These skirmishers found themselves on one side of a valley through the bottom of which ran a ditch, the ground rising to a crest on the other side, where on the edge of the woods the enemy's lines extended, being some 400 yards off. Their line of battle seemed oblique to our own, and in my view the advance of my own brigade in line of battle through the tangled growth in front seemed impracticable, and further liable to the objection that my right flank would be exposed to the fire of the enemy's line, posted obliquely to my own. These views were stated to the general of division, and determined the direction of the subsequent movement of the brigade. An active artillery fight was now carried on for some time, in which Captain Bondurant's battery was


Page 640 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon