eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XI | Pages range from 1 to 994

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 891 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Thursday night we were ordered to defend the batteries planted upon the position which had been taken from the enemy from any attempt which might be made to retake them during the night. Consequently we slept upon our arms in the immediate vicinity, with the proper picket force out on all sides; but no demonstration was made by the enemy.

Friday morning at dawn of day he opened upon us with his artillery, and the fire was continued until his position was turned, and he was thus forced to abandon it.

In all of these engagements, however, my men were but little exposed and my loss was very slight, only 3 men being wounded by the explosion of a shell.

Friday afternoon at 4 o'clock we were put into the fight at Cold Harbor. By your order my line of battle was formed on the right of the road, and in this order I advanced through the dense woods in which the enemy were posted. A small ravine, deep and boggy, compelled us to flank still farther to the right. By this means I became separated from the remainder of the brigade, which had been formed on the left, and for a long time was wholly without assistance in my attempts upon the enemy's position. Again and again was that position assailed, and again and again were we repulsed by vastly superior numbers. Regiment after regiment sent in to the same attack shared the same fate, and it was not until late in the afternoon, when the continuous arrival of fresh troops had given us something line an equality of forces, that any decided impression was made upon the enemy. His position was carried in that last general charge which swept his whole army from the field in a perfect rout.

In this fight, although I was perfectly satisfied with the conduct of my regiment, the position of the enemy was such that we were exposed to a heavy fire from the flank as well as from the front, and though the regiment was frequently broken and compelled to fall back, yet I did not once lose the command of it. The men reformed with alacrity, and my commands were obeyed with the promptness, if not precision, of drill.

My loss in killed and wounded was 68. Nothing but the thickness of the woods saved us from total destruction in our first unassisted efforts upon the enemy's position.

Saturday we were engaged in the work of burying the dead.

Sunday morning we crossed to the south of the Chickahominy in pursuit of the enemy.

Monday the pursuit was continued until we engaged the enemy at Frazier's farm. Here my regiment joined the brigade in the series of charges upon the enemy's batteries. Without a sign of faltering, shouting the battle-cry of "Stonewall," which they adopted of their own accord, they advanced across two open fields in the face of a perfect shower of grape and musketry until they reached a small ravine, traversed by a fence, within a short distance of the enemy's line of battle.

Taking advantage of this slight shelter, they maintained themselves in this position until the arrival of re-enforcements, when they joined in the general charge which won the batteries.

My loss here was very heavy-killed and wounded, 150; among them First Lieutenant W. A. Wooster, of Company I, and my sergeant-major, A. D. Moore, both of them young men of brilliant prospects, and as gallant, as daring, as devoted to the cause as any officer in the Confederate service.

Tuesday, at Malvern Hill, we were marched to the field, but were


Page 891 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon