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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 888 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

As we approached, Colonel Campbell ordered the skirmishers to form upon the right of the regiment and the line advanced to a rail fence in the front of the woods. Here we engaged the enemy, vastly superior to us in numbers. After holding this position for some time, and finding he was not re-enforced so rapidly as he anticipated, Colonel Campbell ordered his regiment to retire to the rear of the wood. The command was then separated; about seven companies, under the command of Colonel Campbell, were almost immediately advanced to their previous position, and three companies under my command, to wit, B, F, A, and a portion of G, were rallied in the rear of the wood and reported to Major-General Hill for orders. The seven companies under Colonel Campbell, after driving again through the wood, were ordered by Major-General Ewell to change their position by a movement by the right flank. After moving about a quarter of a mile they were ordered to advance across a swamp and over an abatis of felled trees up a hill upon and intrenched position of the enemy. It was in this advance that our patriotic colonel lost that life which was so dear to his whole regiment. The colors, when the advance began, were in the hands of Corpl. Henry T. Fight, of Company F. He was instantly shot down, when they were again seized by Corpl. James A. Harris, of Company I; he was also shot down, when Colonel Campbell himself seized the colors and, advancing some 20 paces in front of his regiment, ordered them not to fire but to follow him. Within 20 paces of the enemy's line he was shot down, when Lieutenant Duncan C. Haywood, commanding Company E, again seized our flag, the staff of which had been shot in two, and advanced to the front of the regiment. He also immediately lost his life; whereupon the flag of the regiment was carried out of the action by Corporal Peavey, of Company C.

It was now night-fall, and Major Junius L. Hill, who had behaved with his usual distinguished gallantry, finding that more than half our force was destroyed, and himself exhausted by long action and a severe shock from one of the enemy's bombs, formed such of his men as he could collect and reported to me. The flag which was borne during this conflict was literally shot to pieces and bore upon its field the marks of thirty-two balls. This is the best indication of the heavy fire to which our brave men were exposed.

My portion of the command, which in obedience to orders had fallen to the rear of the wood after the first two hours of the engagement, was, upon my application to Major General A. P. Hill for orders, ordered toward the right of our lines for the purpose of supporting a portion of General Jackson's command, which he informed me was then upon the field. My men cheerfully and earnestly advanced toward the right with cheers for "Old Stonewall." We were under heavy fire for the rest of the evening, but were not so actively engaged as the rest of our regiment, the aforesaid portion of Jackson's command and Wheat's battalion being in our front. Near night-fall I reported to you, stating the exhausted condition of my troops, when you directed me to form on the left of the road approaching the enemy, and post as might pass along said road, directing them to bivouac at that point.

On Saturday, the 28th, we remained quietly in our bivouac, caring for the wounded and dead.

The country and our State too painfully appreciate the loss of our most capable colonel for me to say aught in his praise. It was in this battle that Company E, under the command of Lieutenant Haywood,


Page 888 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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