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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 899 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

of battle, bringing up one section of Andrews' battery. My line was then advanced and the enemy's artillery soon withdrew.

Here, owing to my imperfect knowledge of the roads and partial misleading of the guide, my left regiment went too far to the left, and consequently did not join the brigade until late at night, for while it was coming up after being sent for it was ordered by some one to support another brigade; and I would here mention it was reported to me as behaving well under a very murderous fire, to which it was soon exposed, losing about 200 men. This was the Sixteenth North Carolina, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John S. McElroy.

Upon reaching Mechanicsville I was ordered by you to support General Field. I at once made my dispositions to do so, but soon found that by taking the direction General Field was going [it] left his right much exposed to a heavy fire of artillery, which was playing at the same time on Pegram's battery with great effect. This artillery was obliquely to the right and lower down Beaver Dam Creek than I saw any troops going. I at once changed the direction of two of my regiments, so as to bring them to the right of this artillery, and succeeded in getting within 150 or 200 yards of it before we were opened upon, but when they did open upon us it was destructive, and the obstacles so great in front, the creek and mill-dam, that after the Thirty-eighth North Carolina had reached these obstacles, and within less than 100 yards of the enemy's rifle pits, they had to fall back. This regiment here advanced boldly and maintained its ground well. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina-the other regiment that had been led by me to the right-had made too much of a detour, and did not come up until the Thirty-eight had been repulsed. After bringing it up I sent it farther to the right, to make as much diversion as possible in that direction.

General Ripley at this time came up with his brigade, advancing over part of the same ground which had been passed by the Thirty-eighth North Carolina, directly in front of the mill. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina advanced to the creek and there maintained its position until after dark, when I had it withdrawn, so that with this and General Ripley with part of his brigade we held the extreme right of our position until about daylight next morning, when I was relieved. General Ripley had been relieved before.

Other brigades came up during the night. The Twenty-second North Carolina, which had followed to support General Field, when getting to the creek near him, came suddenly upon a regiment of the enemy, just across the run, and after some little parley opened fire, driving the enemy quickly away, but found it impossible to cross. The loss of this regiment here was also very heavy; among others its brave colonel [Conner] received a severe wound in the leg.

I should state, while relating the incidents of this day's fight, that Colonel Hoke [Thirty-eighth North Carolina] was also wounded and had to leave the field. The adjutant of the Thirty-eighth was wounded also, but nobly maintained his position until after dark.

At daylight on Friday morning I had changed my position in obedience to your orders, bringing my brigade directly in front of the mill on Beaver Dam Creek. About this time the enemy seemed to make a faint attack upon the troops on my right, when those brigades moved forward, and I moved mine forward also until they had gained the creek, getting in the bed of it. Here our line was halted until a general concert of action could be had, by which their attention might be diverted to the extreme right from in the immediate front. At


Page 899 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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