War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0967 BATTLE OF THE FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES. XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

Report of Col. Daniel H. Christie, Twenty-third North Carolina L~fantry. IIDQRs. TWENTY-ThIRD NORTh CAROLINA Tnoops, June 2, 1862. I have the honor to submit tile following rel)ort of the operations of my regiment (the Twenty-third North Carolina) in the battle of Seven Pines, on the 31st nitimo: The regiment was formed in line of battle, occupying the center of the brigade, at about 1.30 p. in., and itioved at the command by right of battalions to the front, endeavoring to preserve regimental distance on our right for the Thirty-eighth Virginia. Owing to the change of direction of the road to the left, along which the right of the brigade was or(lered to move and the thickly-wooded ground throng-li which we passed, I soon found that my command and the Twenty-fourth Vir- ginia were moving on co ilverging instead of l)arallel lines. I notified Major Maumy immediately, but a heavy firing in front indicatino- the b skirmishers would soon be overpowered, I was obliged to bring my com- mand rapidly into line of battle before he had time to gaiti distance for me. This caused some disorder, which embarrassed me no little, but through the energy of Majors Manry and Christian the line was completed. We were now suffering from a heavy skirmishers fire, but pressed on through swamp and thicket, officers and men exerting themselves to the utmost to overcome the obstacles in their line of march and obeying sti-ictly the order to reserve their fire. As we neared the edge of the abatis a terrific fire from the opposite side opened [on] us, which we returimed with effect. The fight here for some minutes was stiibborii in the extreme. The felled timber was an almost insuperable obstacle to a successful charge against a firm line, and I waited the auspicious moment when they should waver. At this june- tuic a regiment on my right was ordered to fall back and reform. The order reaching the ears of my company commanders on the right wing, they mistook it for mine, and commenced putting it into execution. That moment I felt to be pregnant with the most disastrous conse