War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0586 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

and moved forward again, all coming up gallantly with a cheer and reoccupying our old places.

Finding the ammunition getting short in the Eighteenth, which had suffered very much, the Twenty-eighth relieved it, Lieutenant-Colonel Carrington falling a sufficient distance to the rear to partially refill his cartridge boxes from the knapsacks of the enemy's dead.

It was at this time that I sent a courier to the major-general commanding to inform him that we were in want of ammunition, and I met with the gallant and lamented Colonel [Thomas E.] Irby, with four companies of [the] Eighth Alabama Regiment, of General Pryor's brigade, who reported to me for duty. I led him some distance and directed him to move slightly to the right of where the Eighteenth had been. He rushed on eagerly at the head of his men, and coming close on a party of the enemy, was about firing, when they called out, "We are friends; don't fire," at the same time holding up their hands. While partially turning to caution his men not to fire the accomplished cowards poured in a deadly volley, killing the brave colonel and many of his men, and instantly, upon the fire being returned at such short range, took to their heels. I ordered his body to be immediately carried from the field.

About this time re-enforcements from Colston's and Pryor's brigades having come up, upon consultation with Generals Hill [and] Pryor a general charge along the whole line was determined on, and I moved to the right to look after the Eighth. Just at this moment, when he charge was being made, the enemy on the right, who had been quite silent for some time, appeared again in numbers, but were gallantly repulsed by the Eighth Regiment, of my own, and the Fourteenth Regiment, of Pryor's brigade, and were driven from the field from the right to the left, the Nineteenth, supported by the Eighteenth, taking a battery and a number of prisoners, the Twenty-eighth advancing at a charge, by order of General Wilcox, over an open space in front of the captured batteries and under a heavy fire, but still driving the enemy before them.

It was in this charge that Colonel [Robert C.] Allen, of the Twenty-eighth, was for a few minutes in the hands of the enemy, but was rescued by his own presence of mind and the timely assistance of some of his men.

Shortly after this I reported in person to the major-general commanding, and received the instructions from him concerning the bringing off our wounded and retiring after dark. These instructions I communicated to all the brigadier-generals except General Pryor, the darkness and smoke preventing my finding him. I, however, dispatched messengers to find him.

The gallantry and energy exhibited both by officers and men cannot be too much praised. After hard night marches, drenching rains, and but scanty rations, they met an enemy well fed, superior in numbers, better armed and equipped, and well posted, and drove them a mile during the engagement. It is with pleasure I state to the major-general commanding that their confidence in their own ability and cause is redoubled since this action.

The ground in front of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth was literally covered with dead.

The color-bearer of the Eighteenth, Sergt. Solon A. Baston, was shot down while gallantly waving the standard in front of the regiment and leading it to the charge.

I cannot close without mentioning the many thanks that are due to