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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 883 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

formed for the assault, and learning that Brigadier-General Anderson, of Major General D. H. Hill's, division, had crossed the creek above the enemy's works, I was in the act of advancing to storm the redoubts in front of me when I learned that the enemy had evacuated them. Crossing the creek, and turning to the right through the woods I passed Nonmilly's Mill, and fell into the road by which the remainder of the division was pursuing the enemy. On the by-road passing Nonmilly's Mill the evidences of a rout and precipitate flight were most striking.

On reaching Cold Harbor I was ordered by you to take position across the road, connecting with General Gregg on the left and General Anderson on the right. Before reaching the point designated by you I encountered the enemy in great force. Colonel Campbell, Seventh Regiment, promptly engaged them, and while I was placing the remainder of the brigade in position I received from Major-General Hill an order to move two regiments into action by their left flank and to hold the other three in reserve. In compliance with the order the Seventh and Twenty-eighth North Carolina were ordered to take position on the left of the road, while the Thirty-seventh, Thirty-third, and Eighteenth North Carolina were held in reserve in a ravine about 150 yards in their rear. Receiving no further orders from you in regard to the reserve, and finding the pressure greater than my two regiments could sustain, the remaining three regiments were placed in action on the right of the road. My brigade held its ground with heroic tenacity, but must have been driven back by overwhelming forces but for the timely arrival of re-enforcements. The Seventh Regiment, having been the first engaged and having remained continuously under heavy fire, suffered most severely in officers men. Its colonel [Reuben P. Campbell], who might justly be classed among "the bravest of the brave," fell while bearing in his hand the colors of his regiment. Brave and honorable as a man and skillful as an officer, his loss to the brigade was irreparable. The enemy having been driven from the field, my brigade bivouacked near it.

During the march of Sunday and Monday in pursuit of the enemy nothing noteworthy occurred until Monday afternoon about 2 o'clock, wood to the right of the road. It remained but a few minutes in that position, when the shells from the enemy's artillery commenced to fall near us and I was ordered to proceed and attack. Having no guide and no knowledge of the enemy's position, I took the direction whence came the shells, which carried me to the right of the road.

Forming my line of battle in a cleared field and advancing, we soon encountered the enemy and drove them for nearly a mile. This was done under the fire of two batteries, one of which we silenced and the other of which enfiladed the left of my line. After proceeding about this distance, the enemy's force rapidly accumulating as they fell back and finding that the enemy extended much beyond my right flank, no farther advance was attempted. At dark I placed my brigade in bivouac on the edge of the battle-field, and having reported to Major-General Hill through a member of my staff, was ordered to remain there until daylight and then return to the point from which I had started into battle the previous afternoon.

In this engagement I had the misfortune to lose Colonel Charles C. Lee, of the Thirty-seventh Regiment. A thoroughly educated soldier and an exemplary gentleman, whose whole life had been devoted to the profession of arms, the service lost in him one of its most promising officers.

During the afternoon of Tuesday I received marching orders, and


Page 883 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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