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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 658 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

the darkness and confusion preventing my learning the position of the line, I deemed it prudent to place them under cover, and by a flank movement to the right took shelter in a dense woods, just beyond which and under cover of a hill I found almost the entire brigade, it having fallen back from the ravine.

Here I was ordered to send the companies composing my battalion to their different regiments, and Colonel Meares being still absent with a portion of two companies, I reformed the regiment and took position in the skirt of a woods about 300 yards from the battery. Colonel Meares came up in about an hour with the other companies. We held this position until 2 a. m. on the 27th, when we took up the line of march to Mechanicsville.

Our loss in this engagement was 8 killed and 39 wounded, including Major Savage, wounded in the left hand early in the engagement and left the field.

The fire here was very heavy, and I can only account for our small loss by the fact that the artillery fire was very high. Most of the casualties occurred at the extreme range of grape shot, and but few after we reached the most exposed point.

During the forenoon of Friday, 27th, we rested at Mechanicsville and were under a heavy fire of shell, but without accident. About 11 a. m. we again took up the line of march by the road to

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, and arrived at Cold Harbor, or Gaines' Mill, about 3 p. m. Here we were ordered to advance in line of battle and take position on the left, as I understood to prevent a movement against that flank. The regiment lay for two hours under a very severe fire of every description, but by some mischance Colonel Meares moved off without my knowledge with all of the regiment except three companies, which were left with me. The woods here were a dense undergrowth and prevented any movement being seen, and not receiving or hearing any order, I was left with about 60 men, as above stated. The fire becoming more and more severe, and not knowing where to seek my regiment, I reported to you, and received instructions to act upon my own judgment, when I withdrew my small force from under fire about the time that the firing ceased and rested for the night, joining my regiment early the following morning. None of the regiment was actively engaged, but, being held as reserve and sheltered, our loss was small. Killed, 1; wounded, 15.

Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29, we were bivouacked near the river at the Woodbury at Grapevine Bridge.

On Monday morning at an early hour we advanced across this bridge and came into the Williamsburg road near Savage Station, on the York River Railroad. Proceeding down this road we halted at White Oak Creek, where the artillery was engaged until night.

Tuesday morning, July 1, we crossed White Oak Bridge and marched to

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farm, where the enemy had taken position. The line being formed, and advance was ordered, and my regiment moved forward through a dense jungle up the hill to a road just in front of and within 600 yards of the enemy's batteries. From the fact that several of my companies had to move by a flank and file around the thickets, when we reached the road they were in considerable confusion. Here, after firing several rounds, we learned that a regiment of our own troops was in advance of us, and an order to cease firing was given. They were then ordered to lie down to protect themselves. While in this position, with little or no protection but what the naked ground afforded, we were exposed to a most terrific fire of every description, as the


Page 658 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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