War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0304 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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of store and camp equipage. My command was hastening on to join the regiment, which we soon did. I made a verbal report to Colonel Gove as to the success of my mission, which I am happy to say was approved.

The second company of Sharpshooters, under Lieutenant Stiles, was left the day before on camp guard, and had been detailed as guard for the baggage train to go to Savage Station. The regiment moved to its assigned position toward the rear of the Gaines estate, and took position on some high rolling lands overlooking the bottom lands and the Chickahominy Swamp. The position was a most important one, commanding the road across the Chickahominy from its elevation. Orders were early sent to Colonel Gove to hold this position at any cost or sacrifice, and the colonel ordered a rude barricade to be built. This was accomplished by felling some large trees that stood near the regimental line and by the use of rails near at hand. This was scarcely done before the enemy opened a well-directed fire from a battery on this position.

Here was tested Colonel Gove's military knowledge and foresight. The shell burst directly in front of the regiment, and many lives would have been lost, if no more serious consequences involved, had it not been for this barricade. The enemy seemed determined to have this position, for they rained metal enough into this piece of woods to drive out any body of troops who were unprotected. The effort was furious and full of determination. The battery ceased its work for a short time to enable a large body of infantry which they pushed forward to seize this position. They met such a reception that but few lived to tell the tale.

This conflict was short. The enemy was repulsed with a firmness, a steadiness, worth of such men as performed deeds of noble daring on this eventful day. The enemy's battery was soon again at work. They also placed a battery on the flats and opened a cross-fire, seeming determined to drive out the troops from around this ravine. Nothing moved Colonel Gove, his officers or men. They stood to their posts faithfully. Night was fast approaching, and the enemy, being largely re-enforced, made a fearful dash at the whole line of battle. At all point the battle raged fiercely. A more bloody struggle over occurred. Our hungry, weary, and worn-out soldiers had to bear the impetuous charge of at least four times their number.

This unequal contest was prolonged for upward of an hour amid a hail-storm of lead and iron that surpasses description. at an early period of this last attack Major Tilton was wounded and left for the hospital. Soon regiments posted on the right and left of the Twenty-second, and who had no barricades, had to fall back, closely followed by an ambitious and exulting enemy. This caused the position of the Twenty-second to become untenable. Being outflanked

right and left, it was forced to give way a few yards behind the barricade. In the open field Colonel Gove endeavored to reform the line to rally the men. Here he gave his country his life. He fell nobly and manfully. Endeared to all, sincerely does the regiment mourn his irreparable loss. Here, too, Adjutant Sherwin was wounded while ably seconding Colonel Gove and the officers in rallying the men in the face of the enemy. Surgeons Prince and Millner were either killed or wounded.

At his time the regiment was left without a field or staff officer. The regiment rallied around its colors, ready to do any duty, and did for a time support a battery. Upward of one-half of the line

were either killed or wounded. Of those who were present, Orderly