War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0599 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG, VA.

Search Civil War Official Records

other reliable sources I learn that the companies of which it was composed moved with the most perfect order in line with the right wing until the first position of the enemy was carried; that here, coming upon the abatis of felled trees, the progress of the extreme left companies was impelled; that owing to a severe fire from their left, supposed by them to have come from our own troops through mistake, they were thrown into some confusion, which was increased by an order to fall back and reform; but that, though to some extent scattered, they fought on eagerly, and the list of their killed and wounded shows them to have been in the thickets of the fight. Captain Mullins, of Company E, with portions of other companies, charged through the intricate network of fallen trees upon the enemy, to our left. The color-sergeant (--- Peebles) bore the colors in front, and when shot down still upheld them until Private William P. Meaders took them from his hand. Pierced through the arm by a rifle-ball, he, with his other hand, delivered them to Private John Halloran, of Company C, who had become separated from his own company. Lieutenant Jones then seized them and bore them on until they were triumphantly planted on the enemy's cannon, the taking of which this company shared with the Ninth Alabama Regiment.

Unable to find my left wing, and discovering that troops of other brigades were on both flanks of my command, I ordered it to advance. Our re-enforcements had pressed on and now occupied the front, and were most hotly engaged. I drew up my men within supporting distance, ready to advance and take the front at a moment's notice.

For an hour we were exposed to a galling fire, which was borne with the same firmness that marked the conduct of the men in their first successful attack. Here Captain Coffey, of Company D, received at wound, which, though not dangerous, was painful and disabling. It gives me pleasure to say that during the day this officer's conduct was both gallant and skillful.

While in this position I was joined by Captain W. G. Martin, of Company B, and learned from him for the first time of the fate of Colonel Mott and the position of our left companies. I directed him to return, for the purpose of collecting these companies and to send them to me. The gallant bearing of this officer, and the valuable assistance rendered me in the management of the regiment, deserves particular notice.

In a short time Lieutenant Norris, in command of Company B; Lieutenant Kimes, in command of a portion of Company G, and Lieutenant Allen, in command of Company K, reported to me. I at once placed their respective commands in their proper position in the regiment, and they performed their duty the remainder of the day with zealous fidelity. I was also joined here by Major Mullins, who reported to me that he had been engaged in reforming the men and sending them forward. While with me, he evinced his entire readiness to perform the duties of his office and to assist me in the management of the regiment. The [First] Regiment, which was on my left and somewhat in front, had now expended its ammunition, and moved from its position by filling to the rear by the right. I threw my regiment forward to the position thus vacated, and applied in person to Brigadier General A. P. Hill, commanding (with his brigade) that portion of our line, for permission to hold it with my regiment as a part of his brigade, and received his consent. At this juncture the fire slackened on my new position, but growing exceedingly severe to my right, I was ordered by General Hill to throw my regiment in that direction to support the troops thus hotly engaged. In the execution of this order I encountered Brigadier-General Pryor,