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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 654 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

instructions from him to get everything in readiness for action and be prepared to move at 8 p. m. of the same day with the other batteries of D. H. Hill's division.

According to these instructions I marched, together with the other batteries of the division, under direction of Major S. F. Pierson, chief of artillery, from my camp, near the Williamsburg road, back toward Richmond, and passing along its suburbs fell into the Mechanicsville turnpike, upon which I advanced to the front again, and halted at 4 a. m. just behind the brow of the hill overlooking the Chickahominy. There we awaited the arrival of the infantry, who, marching by a different road, arrived about an hour later, and rested on their arms on the opposite side of the road.

In this position both infantry and artillery remained inactive until 3 p. m., when the whole column was set in motion, each battery following then brigade to which it was attached. General Ripley's brigade led the way, and the infantry, hastily putting together a few planks, rapidly passed over the two bridges which had been destroyed by the enemy, and forming line of battle advanced against the batteries situated about 2 miles from the bridge and to the right. Following immediately after the infantry with my battery, I was obliged to wait a short time at the first bridge until it was rendered passable for artillery, when I pressed forward to the second bridge. The sleepers of this bridge were cut in two and the whole frame-work and middle portion thrown into the stream. When my battery reached the bridge the Pioneer Corps had not yet come up. I therefore rode my horse into the stream to see if it was fordable for artillery, intending to cut down the opposite bank and ford it if possible, as that would have been much more speedily done than reconstructing the bridge; but the creek was impassable, so I sent to hurry up the pioneers, and went to work with my own men to make the bridge. After about half an hour the bridge was sufficiently restored to pass the guns and caissons over one by one, taking out the horses. As each piece was thus passed over by hand the horses were attached and the piece marched forward. As soon as the last piece could be got over the battery closed up and advanced at a trot to the slope of the hill just in front of the redoubts of the enemy, and getting into position opened fire on the enemy, who, seeing our approach, had been playing upon us as we crossed the field.

The action on both sides was kept up with great spirit until about 10 o'clock, when the enemy ceased firing. I continued to fire for a half hour afterward, at which time Major Pierson, chief of artillery of the division, ordered me to cease, but to remain where I was, with my guns loaded, until further orders reached me. Taking advantage of the darkness, I changed position about 60 yards whenever the enemy got my range accurately, and found it of great advantage. In this action I had 11 men and several horses wounded; none killed.

About 12 o'clock I found General Ripley, and by his direction moved my battery about 200 yards to the right under cover of the hill, where we bivouacked for the night.

At early dawn next morning, June 27, I marched, according to General Ripley's orders, to Mechanicsville to meet the infantry, and from there accompanied the brigade to Cold Harbor. Passing beyond that place I took position, with other batteries of General D. H. Hill's division, on the road which passed to the east of Gaines' farm, and participated in the action of that day. The casualties of that day were 2 men wounded; 1 horse killed and several wounded (my own very severely). I bivouacked on the field of battle until 3.30 a. m., when


Page 654 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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