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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 900 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

this time I brought up a section from each of three batteries I found in the plain in the rear; one of these was from the Donaldsonville Artillery, under Lieutenant V. Maurin, who shelled them with spirit and effect, his men being exposed to a galling fire from the enemy's sharpshooters, not 200 yards off in the rifle pits. The section of Andrews' Maryland Battery was under Lieutenant William F. Dement, who also did fine service. Captain Andrews, as usual, was present, chafing for a fight. I do not know to whose battery the other section belonged.

We moved forward soon after, crossing the run and mill-race with great difficulty. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina, Colonel Richard H. Riddick, was the first to gain the enemy's works, but they had a few moments before left under cover of their rifle pits. I should here mention that a part of Andrews' battery was engaged the evening before assisting Pegram's battery. After crossing the creek we marched down the Chickahominy, not meeting the enemy until we reached Gaines' Mill, who opposed the right brigades of the division. I here brought up two sections of Andrews' battery, under Lieutenants Dement and Dabney, who shelled the enemy with considerable effect. We again moved forward, crossing at Gaines' Mill. Soon I was ordered by you to pass to the right and throw out skirmishers, and, if possible, surround the enemy, who were lower down the stream. We drove them off, but they retired upon their main body. Here again a portion of Andrews' battery was brought into play, with the desire to draw fire from the enemy's artillery and to show us its locality, but failed to do so. Through the misconception of an order by Colonel Riddick his regiment had not come up, and I found myself weak and asked for support. General Archer was sent forward, and I ordered to support General Branch farther up the road.

I found Colonel Riddick at the forks of the road near Cold Harbor, and my brigade was at once ordered into action. I formed into line of battle and moved into the wood to the right of the right-hand road, finding only the enemy and a fragment of one of our regiments. We were soon hotly engaged, and drove the enemy slowly before us for about 250 yards. My brigade had started in weak, and suffered heavily here, and seeing fresh regiments of the enemy coming up constantly, I sent my aide, Lieutenant Young, to ask for support. Two of my regiments, Sixteenth and Twenty-second North Carolina, had gained the crest of open ground, getting into the enemy's camp, but, finding themselves flanked, fell back, which caused those on the left, who were not so far advanced, to fall back also. About this time Colonel C. C. Lee, Thirty-seventh North Carolina, who had been sent to our support, came up. My men were rallied and pushed forward again, but did not advance far before they fell back, and I think I do but justice to my men to say that they did not commence it. The enemy were continually bringing up fresh troops, and succeeded in driving us from the wood.

My men here fought nobly, and maintained their ground with great stubbornness. The left were subject to enfilade fire from musket and cannon.

It was now nearly night, and here ended the part taken by my brigade, except so far as Lieutenant Young, my aide, was concerned, for he, not being satisfied with fighting as long as his general, went back, and remained principally with General Ewell until the battle was closed. I would here state that Lieutenant Young acted both on this day and the day previous with the most heroic bravery and coolness. Words fail me in expressing my admiration of his conduct through the whole of the Chickahominy battles. I here lost Colonel Green, my volun-


Page 900 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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