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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 845 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

With the rest of the brigade we crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge on Thursday evening, June 26. Nothing of importance occurred until arriving near Mechanicsville; we were opened upon by the enemy's batteries and exposed to a most galling fire until late at night without being able to return a shot.

Our casualties at this place were 10 in number, including 2 captains.

On the next morning, Friday, 27th, we marched in the direction of Cold Harbor, and again came up with the enemy of Powhite Creek in a very strong position; it also having been represented by some that it was impossible to cross the creek opposite to our position, though this proved afterward to be entirely erroneous. The brigade being ordered to advance in a double line, with the Forty-event in front, was approached to within musket-range and opened fire, continuing to advance at the same time. But no sooner had we commenced firing that the second line also opened fire, and finding it impossible to check them, I was obliged to make my men lie down while loading, and even then I had several men killed and wounded by my friends in the rear. Among the latter was Captain Green, a most gallant and efficient officer.

We remained upon the ground until our ammunition was expended and then retired to the edge of the wood, about 80 yards in our rear.

Our casualties at this place were 34, the number engaged being about 175 rank and file.

We did not again participate in an engagement until Monday (30th), when we were called on with the rest of the brigade to advance upon two batteries of the enemy that had been taken by General Longstreet's division, but which had been recaptured. The Forty-seventh, with the Second Virginia Battalion, were ordered to advance upon the battery on the left of the road, which they did, charging immediately in front and exposed to a raking fire of grape and canister for three-quarters of a mile. As soon as we got within short musket-range we opened fire, continuing to advance at the same time, and soon drove the cannoneers from their pieces. We followed them up until we arrived at a position about 50 yards beyond their battery, when we were opened upon both on our right and left flanks by a very severe fire.

Our forces in all not amounting to 300, a halt was called to await re-enforcements, and in the mean time, at the suggestion of some one whose name I have not been able to find out, one of the enemy's guns was trained to the left, the fire from that quarter being much the hottest, and fire opened upon them. The fire from the front having nearly ceased, while that on the right and lest still continued, I caused my command to be formed in the road, so as to protect the battery from either of those directions.

About this time you rode up for the second time and ordered us to cease firing the cannon, as we might injure some of our friends in advance. It was then quite dark. Shortly after we ceased firing the cannon and you had ridden off to another portion of the brigade the sounds of horses' hoof were heard advancing from the direction of the enemy and the regiment was cautioned to be on their guard. They turned out to be four horseman, who, riding up on our left, inquired who we were. I called out at the top of my voice "Friends," but some one on the left having unwittingly called Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment, two of the party turned back and rode off at a double-quick down the road. They were instantly fired upon, and one of them who turned out afterward to be Major [Henry J.] Biddle, adjutant-general, to General McCall, was killed. The other two were captured, and turned


Page 845 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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