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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 874 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

fire as to bring their left to a stand-still. During this halt of the Zouaves I ordered my regiment to fall back, after having drove the enemy to their camp to the edge of the woods, where we entered, and then filing to the right conducted them in safety down a road, where I formed the remnant under cover of the hill in front of the Zouaves. Just as I was forming a North Carolina regiment came up and assisted us in giving a complete check to any further movement of the enemy in this quarter.

Thus ended one of the most desperate charges I ever before witnessed, and I feel thankful to a kind Providence that so many of us escaped to witness the most complete triumph of our arms in the hardest-contested battle before Richmond, and the one which decided the fate of the Yankee Army.

That night the regiment, in connection with Colonel Hamilton's and a portion of the Thirteenth South Carolina Volunteers, under command of Major Farrow, slept upon the battle-field.

On Saturday morning I called for a report of the different companies of my regiment of the killed, wounded, and missing, and found from their reports that my worst fears were realized as to the destruction of my regiment. In that charge we had sustained a loss of 76 killed, 221 wounded, and 58 missing, and I had only 149-officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates-for duty.

Early that morning I made a detail from each company to bury the dead, and so severe was the work of death in some of the companies that it took the detail all day to bury their dead. This sad duty performed, we were permitted again to sleep that night on the battle-field.

Early Sunday morning the brigade was put under marching orders, and about 9 a.m. we took up the line of march for the south side of the Chickahominy, via New Bridge.

After marching until 9 o'clock that night we bivouacked about 12 miles below Richmond, on the Darbytown road, close upon the rear of the enemy, who, we learned, had been driven that day and the day previous from his strong fortifications in front of Richmond.

On Monday, the 30th, we took up the line of march and pushed down the Darbytown road until we came upon the enemy strongly intrenched behind breastworks. The brigades of our division that were intrenched behind breastworks. The brigades of our division that were in front of the Second Brigade were soon engaged with the enemy, and our brigade was permitted to rest for a few moments preparatory to any emergency that might occur.

More troops were called for by General Hill, and the Second Brigade was rapidly advanced to the field of action. When near the position of the enemy two regiments-Colonels Edwards' and McGowan's-were advanced to the right to engage the enemy, and the other two regiments-Colonels Hamilton's and Barnes'-and my own were advanced to the left to engage the enemy if they presented themselves. Here we were exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy, not being able to return a single shot on account of our friends, General Longstreet's division being in front.

Here I had 9 wounded without the least chance of inflicting any damage upon the enemy, but we had the consolation of hearing the shout of triumph from our friends in front and the rout of our enemies. We slept upon the battle-field that night.

The next morning we were marched back to the brigade camping ground that we had occupied the day before, for the purpose of having rations issued to the troops. Here we rested as a reserve to the forces that were engaged in the Tuesday's battle.


Page 874 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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