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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 863 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Early the next morning we marched across the Mechanicsville turnpike road in the direction of Beaver Dam Creek. Arriving within half a mile of that stream we halted, formed line of battle, and sent forward Company B [Captain Miller] as skirmishers. We were then ordered by General Gregg to cross the stream and occupy the hills beyond. This order was promptly executed and without much resistance, except from scattering shots from the pickets of the enemy, who fled as we advanced. We were now in full view of deserted camps and burning fires in front. We immediately continued our march, and about half a mile farther we entered a piece of woods where a large heap of commissary and other stores were on fire. But the quantity of knapsacks, oil-cloths, and other articles scattered through the woods where a large heap of commissary and other articles scattered through the woods and along the roads gave unmistakable evidence that the enemy had left his camp in great haste. Here we halted a short time, when General Gregg came up and ordered the regiment to be formed in column of companies and to advance in that order. Just at this moment I was told the enemy had been seen on our left. This fact I communicated to the general, when he ordered the two left companies to be sent in that direction to reconnoiter. Immediately Company B, Captain Miller, and Company K, Captain Neville, were sent, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Jones. The regiment now moved off in column and soon [arrived] at a church, where we met General Jackson's command, or a portion of it. We remained here a short time, during which the two companies sent out to reconnoiter on our left sent in 9 prisoners, and soon after came themselves, bringing 8 more, making 17 in all captured.

We continued the march without further resistance until we arrived in the vicinity of Gaines' Mill, on Powhite Creek. Here, the enemy making demonstration of resistance, the regiment was formed in line of battle, and Company B, Captain Miller, thrown forward as skirmishers. A spirited attack being made by the skirmishers, and at the same time a few shells being thrown from one of our batteries, the enemy were soon put to flight, making toward a pine thicket beyond the creek. Advancing to the creek we found the bridge torn up. The regiment was ordered to cross on the dam, and after crossing to wait for orders. In a short time the bridge was repaired, so as to enable the whole command to cross.

The regiment was then formed in line, and throwing forward Company A, Lieutenant Parker, and Company I, Captain Vanlandingham, as skirmishers, we advanced at double-quick toward the pine thicket, the enemy as before firing and retiring before us.

In this advance Private N. S. Camp, Company A, was killed.

Continuing the pursuit, we soon came in sight of the enemy in force at Cold Harbor. In a few moments a fight commenced between our artillery and that of the enemy. The shells from the batteries of the enemy soon began to fall thick and fast around us, and taking the double-quick, we advanced to a branch in front of us, and toward the enemy, under a heavy fire of shell. Crossing this branch, we came to a halt for nearly two hours. During the halt, by order of the general, I sent Company F, Captain McMeekin, and Company H, Captain Erwin, in advance to watch the movements of the enemy, and afterward relieved them by Company D, Captain Bookter, and Company G, Lieutenant Garvin. In the performance of this duty Company F and Company D had each 2 men wounded.

About 5 p.m., as near as I can guess, the Twelfth and First Regiments were formed in line, the Twelfth having only eight companies, the two sent in advance to watch the movements of the enemy not having


Page 863 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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