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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 724 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

staff, and Captain Holt and Lieutenant Slade, of the Tenth Georgia, but for some cause these troops did not come forward. The lateness of the hour and the darkness would not admit of further delay. About 700 men, consisting of troops of my brigade and detachments from regiments of other commands, as above stated, were formed and moved forward to the charge silently and in quick-time. The charge was made with coolness and regularity for a distance of 150 yards in the face of a terrific fire from the enemy's guns, consisting of six 6-gun batteries and four of a 10-gun Parrott battery, six of which had been previously captured, and his musketry, when, unfortunately, the right of our line was fired into from the rear by troops of other brigades of our own army, which, with the terrible fire poured by the enemy in our front, caused the line to waver and finally to break, the men seeking partial shelter behind a number of farm-houses not more than 60 yards from the enemy's nearest gun. Our line approached that of the enemy diagonally, thereby throwing the Tenth Louisiana, which was on the right, farther in advance. The dead of this regiment were commingled with those of the enemy and very near his guns. It was here that the last was seen of the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Waggaman, while heading his regiment, who it is supposed was wounded and taken prisoner. Dead bodies of our men and those of the enemy were found in close proximity at and near these houses.

For half an hour every possible effort was made to reform and again advance to the charge, but owing to the small number, the lateness of the hour (8.30 p.m.), the horror of again coming in deadly conflict with troops of our own army and the terrible and incessant cross-fire of the enemy's artillery and musketry, although there was no terror manifested, no demoralization apparent, still the effort proved unavailing.

Finding further effort useless, I, at 9 o'clock at night ordered the troops to withdraw quietly, which was done. Having been actively engaged for more than three hours I had become so exhausted as to be almost unable to leave the field, and could not have reached the camp that night but for the timely assistance of two of my men.

A list of casualties has been heretofore forwarded to the division headquarters.

My staff-Captain Clemons, assistant adjutant-general; Captain Briggs, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant Cody and Redd, volunteer aides- rendered very efficient service on the field. They were much exposed to the enemy's missiles, balls, shell, grape, and bullets, but fortunately all escaped untouched except Captain Briggs, who was stricken senseless to the ground by a grape shot, which had passed through and killed outright a man in his front, by which he will be disabled for some time.

Individual cases of gallantry might be named, but this is deemed unnecessary. Only the chivalrous and brave were there in such close and deadly proximity to the foe. The coward and the skulker had long ere the close of the battle sought safety in inglorious flight from the bloody field under cover of the darkness.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

PAUL J. SEMMES,

Brigadier-General.

Captain T. S. McINTOSH,

Assistant Adjutant-General.


Page 724 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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