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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 882 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

the stream and in full view of the enemy's pickets on the other side. To deceive them as to my purpose I now marched it back half a mile in the direction of my camp, at Brook Church, and masked it in the woods.

At a few minutes after 10 a.m. I received from General Jackson a note, informing me that the head of his column was at the moment of his writing crossing the Central Railroad. In less than ten minutes my column, which had been resting on its arms for six hours, was in motion, and soon reached the north bank of the Chickahominy. Placing the Seventh North Carolina Regiment, Colonel R. P. Campbell, at the head of the column, with a section of Captain Marmaduke Johnson's battery, and throwing forward three picked companies of that regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel [Edward G.] Haywood, as skirmishers, I turned sharply to the right and directed my course down the river. The enemy's pickets retired before us, and offered no resistance until we approached Atlee's Station, on the Fredericksburg Railroad. At that place a stand was made, but they were forced to flee precipitately, leaving behind a cavalry guidon, which fell into the hands of the Seventh Regiment, and much personal baggage. Thence onward they resisted our advance at every favorable point, but with no other effect than to retard, without checking, my march.

Near Crenshaw's the road on which the column commanded by Major-General Ewell was advancing and that on which I was advancing approach within one-fourth of a mile of each other. The heads of our columns reached this point simultaneously, and after a short personal interview between General Ewell and myself we proceeded on our respective routes.

After dislodging the enemy from several ambuscades with only a small loss to my command I reached the Meadow Bridge road, where I learned from stragglers that Major-General Hill had crossed the Chickahominy without opposition with the remainder of the division and gone on toward Mechanicsville, then distant about 1 1/2 miles. A courier from the general soon assured me of the correctness of the information, and drawing in my skirmishers, I made all haste to join him at Mechanicsville.

My brigade reached the field about an hour before sunset, and halting it, I rode forward over the field to report to the general for orders. I did not find him, but simultaneously with my return he rode up, and after a short delay ordered me to proceed with a guide to the part of the field occupied by the remainder of his division. Marching my brigade over a broad extent of cleared ground, swept by the artillery of the enemy, I reached the designated point at dusk, and having no time nor sufficient light to reconnoiter the ground, I placed my command in a field to support a battery on my left, which seemed to be doing good service and to be much exposed. There we slept in line of battle.

Early Friday morning the enemy opened a heavy fire of artillery and long-range musketry on my line from their redoubts and rifle pits, but as they attempted no advance my men were ordered to lie upon the ground, and the injury inflicted was small.

About 8 o'clock, by order of General Lee, I occupied a piece of ground in front of Brigadier-General Archer, but finding myself strong enough to hold both, did not abandon my former position.

About 9 o'clock I was ordered by Major-General Hill, "As soon as you see any movement on the right or left or hear heavy musket firing advance also and storm the creek." My brigade was immediately


Page 882 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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