War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0311 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES

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bridge over the ravine at Gaines' mill, making a detour to the right, and finally rested at the house on the hill in rear of Sumner's causeway and in rear of the subsequent battle-field. About 8 o'clock a. m., with the rest of the brigade, the regiment was formed in line in the woods in front at the bottom of the ravine, where we threw up a slight barricade and rested on our arms, awaiting the approach of the enemy. Four companies of skirmishers were thrown forward to the crest of the hill in front, with instructions to fire a volley upon the foe upon their approach and then retire behind the barricade. After some slight skirmishing the enemy advanced in line. The skirmishers fired upon them and then retired. The rebels came on in good style, but somewhat to our right, so that only the right wing of the regiment was engaged. They were soon compelled to retire. A small number of skirmishers was then sent forward by Major Gilbert to watch and report the movements of the enemy, which they from time to time did. The battle continued on the right and left of us, but not in our immediate front, until about 7 o'clock p. m., when the skirmishers again advised us of their approach and retired behind the barricades.

This time the enemy came on in deployed lines and columns by battalions closed in mass, one battalion immediately behind the other. The Twenty-fifth Regiment reserved fire until the enemy were half way down the hill, and then opened upon them. Each line of the enemy fired on descending their hill as soon as it was unmasked by the line in front. The firing was heavy and continuous. Our men behaved with great coolness, firing slowly and with precision. The enemy once wavered for a moment, and would have gone back, but for the impulsion of the mass behind. Major Gilbert stood just in rear of the colors, shooting the rebels as they advanced with his pistol. Captain Bates was wounded here, and Lieutenant Fairman, acting adjutant, twice, once in the left and once in the hip. The break in the first line commenced to the left of our regiment, and ran like a wave through the whole line. I did not see Major Gilbert after he left the barricade, being considerably to the right of the men that he fell, while going back up the hill, near the second line. Lieutenant Bishop and Assistant Surgeon Norris were among the missing officers in this engagement, and Captain Ferguson, of the provost guard, was also mortally wounded.

i had but few men with me on arriving at the top of the hill, and those of my own company. The beyond was filled with men scattered in every direction before we reached the second line, and as the artillery in rear was getting ready to fire we passed behind it. The confusion prevented me from rallying or oven finding any more of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, though I spent the better part of the night in looking for them. I found Captain Alcott, and with about 30 men we crossed the Chickahominy in rear of the Twenty-second


The next day, June 28, the remainder of the regiment marched with the brigade to Savage Station and thence accompanied the brigade until it arrived on the bank of James River. June 30 we were ordered under arms about 3 o'clock p. m. and marched something over a mile to the front, took position, and slept on our arms until the next morning, then retired a short distance and rested till about 2 o'clock p. m., when we again advanced. The regiment was formed in column of division between the First Michigan and Twenty-second Massachusetts, and lay under fire of shell and grape for about two hours. It was then ordered to advance in line the left the Twenty-second Massachusetts, and