On the morning of the 29th ultimo orders were received to hold the regiment in readiness to move at a moment's notice. At 3 p.m. on that day we received the order to take up the line of march. Obeying this order, we crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge, and, in connection with the other regiments composing the brigade, drove in the enemy's pickets to within half a mile of Mechanicsville, at which point the regiment was drawn up in line of battle in rear of the Fifty-fifth Virginia, on the right of the road. Advancing steadily we forced the enemy to abandon Mechanicsville. Immediately beyond this point we encountered a severe fire from their batteries in crossing an open field in their front.
In obedience to orders the direction was changed to the left, and marching by that flank we reached the cover of the woods on that side, where we were halted. Here we were exposed for a few moments to a most galling fire from the enemy's batteries, under which fire I was wounded in the hand, and turned over the command of the regiment to Lieutenant Colonel B. H. Jones, to whom I an indebted for the facts connected with the report from that time until I resumed the command.
Proceeding through this wood another field was crossed and another wood again entered, where the enemy were drawn up in line of battle on the crest of a hill on the opposite side of a small branch in the ravine in front of us. Advancing through this wood, the regiment having been wheeled into line of battle, we moved down the side of the hill, took our position in rear of the forces of a brigade immediately in our front, and opened fire upon the enemy. Here for at least two hours the battle raged most violently.
Our loss here was considerable, Lieutenant S. Lilly, of Company I, being killed; Captain John L. Caynor and Lieutenant P. M. Paxton, of Company F, and Lieutenant S. D. Pack, of Company A, being wounded, and many privates both killed and wounded.
About 10 o'clock Friday morning the brigade was ordered to move in the direction of Gaines' Mill, Lieutenant Colonel B. H. Jones still in command of the regiment. Having passed beyond the mill, the brigade was halted and disposition made to support General Anderson's brigade, which had been ordered to attack the enemy, strongly posted in front to the right of the road. This regiment was formed in column of companies at half distance, to support the regiments of the brigade in line of battle in front. Advancing, after a short delay, through the wood we drove back the enemy's sharpshooters in the direction of his main line. Emerging into a field in front the command was given to charge, and the regiments in front, supported by this regiment (the Sixtieth Virginia), rushed forward with loud shouts. Unfortunately, however, we had proceeded but a few hundred yards when upon reaching the crest of the hill, within full view of the enemy, the center of the line encountered a house and garden fence, which broke the lines of the regiment in front. At the same time the enemy opened upon us a terrific fire of artillery and musketry. Nevertheless this regiment maintained its position until some regiments in front, said to belong to General Anderson's brigade, gave way, falling back through the brigade. We were then commanded to fall back in order by the general commanding. This movement was attended with some confusion, but a large proportion of the regiment rallied gallantly around their flag, and many members of other regiments, exhorted by the general commanding and others, rallied with us. Here Captain S. H. Tompkins, of Company G, was killed while most gallantly exhorting his command to
54 R R-VOL XI, PT II