War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0347 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS BATTLES.

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in volley after until, when within 150 yards, he was completely brought to a stand-still.

All this time the enemy delivered his fire whilst advancing, but now finding the fire of the Eighty-third so very sharp, he was unable proceed farther. The battle was now very hot. it became evident we were exposed to a cross-fire. Another regiment, whose number or name I cannot learn, came to our assistance and formed on our left, and, I regret to say, who, after only receiving as few rounds of the enemy's fire, gave way and fled. numbers of the Eighty-third saw this and indignantly hooted; but their temper and bravery was presently calmed and aroused by the timely and unexpected appearance of their old friends, the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, who rapidly formed line on our left, occupying the position vacated by the gallant (?) braves who suddenly disappeared. I must also here remark that previous to the arrival of the Forty-ford, and upon the flight of the unknown, regiment just mentioned, the battery which supported us in rear, seeing that corps give way, did limber up their guns and also moved rapidly some 25 or 30 paces farther to the rear, but, still viewing the daring of our regiment, again advanced and opened fire. i do consequently claim for the Eighty-third the honor of holding the enemy in check unsupported, and in all probability saving the capture by the enemy of that battery during that impetuous and trying period.

It was now nearly 8 p. m. The battle raged with all the horrors of war. Repeatedly the enemy advanced, and was as often beaten back. Our ranks, although nobly assisted by the forty-fourth, were becoming very much thinned. The enemy's dead lay in heaps, while he was seen to collect the bodies of his fallen slain and pile them for his protection from our fire. We felt almost overpowered-nay, annihilated-from the fury and storm of shot poured into us. Yet, seeing our adversaries, waver, we in conjunction with the forty-fourth New York Volunteers, decided to and did; charge upon two of his regiments, drove them back, captured his colors (which was carried as a trophy by Orderly-Sergeant Wittich, who amid a shower of balls gallantly bore them off the field), and then fell back to the position we maintained and held for the two previous hours without a moment's cessation of battle and against vastly superior numbers, when to our utter joy the gallant Irish Brigade dashed onto the field in time to save our utter destruction.

With these new troops came new hopes. Energy and devotion now truly showed itself. The remaining fragment of our regiment, nerved with obstinate determination to " do or die," still mowed down their assailants. The old banner, although pierced with untold numbers of balls and its bearers shot down as quickly as they could be replaced, still floated from its half staff-that, I omitted to state in my last report, was broken in two and had two of its bearers shot down on the 27th of June-and only when the shades of night closed over our heads did we retire to the ground we occupied in the early morning.

Inclosed is a list of the killed, wounded, and missing* that, while i deplore the loss, i rejoice to say fell proudly, manfully, and without a murmur, in defense of our cherished land.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Eighty-third Pennsylvania vols.

Brigadier-General BUTTERFIELD.


*Embodied in revised statement, p. 30.