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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 838 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.

On Monday, the 30th, arrived in about 1 mile of the cross made by the Long Bridge road and the Quaker road near Frazier's farm. The enemy were retreating along the Quaker road. My division was halted, my field hospitals established, and brigades closed up. The division of General Longstreet, now commanded by Brigadier General R. H. Anderson, was in line of battle some three-quarters of a mile in advance of mine.

The staff officer of General Longstreet at this time delivered me an order to take the command on the field. I did so, and reporting to General Anderson that such was the case, we rode over the ground and made such disposition as were necessary.

Before the battle opened General Longstreet returned and resumed the command. The fight commenced by fire from the enemy's artillery, which swept down the road, and from which His Excellency the President narrowly escaped accident. The battle had continued some little time, when I received an order from General Longstreet, through Captain Fairfax, to send a brigade to the left to the support of Generals Pryor, Featherston, and others. General Gregg was detached on this service and guided by Captain Fairfax. The fire becoming very heavy, I was ordered forward with my division. Branch's brigade took the route and with springing steps pressed forward. Arriving upon open ground, he formed his line and moved to the support of the troops engaged in his front. Field and Pender were successively thrown forward. Field pressed forward with such ardor that he passed far in front of my whole line. The Sixtieth Virginia, Colonel [William E.] Starke, and Fifty-fifth, Colonel [Francis] Mallory, charged and captured two batteries of Napoleon guns, and the Sixtieth crossed bayonets with the enemy, who obstinately contested the possession of these guns. General Pender, moving up to the support of Field, found that he had penetrated so far in advance that the enemy were between himself and Field. A regiment of Federals, moving across his front and exposing their flank, were scattered by a volley. Pender continued to move forward, driving off a battery of rifled pieces. The Forty-seventh Virginia, Colonel [Robert M.] Mayo, having gotten possession of a battery, turned its guns on the enemy, and thereby greatly assisted Gregg, who was hotly engaged on the left. To this regiment also belongs the honor of capturing Major-General McCall. The brigade of General Featherston having become very much scattered and been forced back, Colonel [Samuel] McGowan, with [the] Fourteenth South Carolina, retrieved our ground.

On our extreme right matters seemed to be going badly. Two brigades of Longstreet's division had been roughly handled and had fallen back. Archer was brought up and sent in, and in his shirtsleeve, leading his gallant brigade, affairs were soon restored in that quarter.

About dark the enemy were pressing us hard along our whole line, and my last reserve, General J. R. Anderson, with his Georgia brigade, was directed to advance cautiously and be careful not to fire on our friends. His brigade was formed in line, two regiments on each side of the road, and obeying my instructions to the letter, received the fire of the enemy at 70 paces before engaging themselves. Heavy re-enforcements to the enemy were brought up at this time and it seemed that a tremendous effort was being to turn the fortunes of the battle. The volume of fire that, approaching, rolled along the line was terrific. Seeing some troops of Wilcox's brigade who had rallied with the assistance of Lieutenant Chamberlayne other members of my staff, they were rapidly formed, and being directed to cheer long


Page 838 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN,VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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