War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0580 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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other regiments and no doubt did their duty as soldiers of the First Brigade.

On arriving at or near the tavern I, with the Second Virginia, was ordered to support several batteries that were being placed in position just to the front of it, which order I promptly executed, moving my regiment to the support of the left battery, leaving the right for the Second Regiment.

This disposition had hardly been made before the news came [I do not know how] "They are driving our men back," and now Brigadier-General Winder ordered the brigade forward, thus placing my regiment on the left and the Second Regiment immediately on its right. The movement was made at a rapid pace through swamps and bogs and thick undergrowth, which made it exceedingly difficult to keep the proper alignment. From the moment of my being placed in position to support the battery the shells from the enemy's batteries fell around us thick and fast, and yet my men, like veterans, pressed on to the front with a spirit and determination which afterward contributed to the complete success of our general's undertaking.

After emerging from the woods there was an open and almost naked field, ascending by a regular inclined plane for almost 1,000 yards to the tops of McGehee's hill, on which the enemy was posted in strong force, both of artillery and infantry. Being ordered to charge in connection with the entire brigade, and to keep my right resting upon the left of the Second Regiment, I found great difficulty in doing so from the constant obliquing of the brigade to the right. It was now dusk, and I could hardly see the left of the Second; but I urged my men forward, being guided more by the cheering than by the sight of that regiment.

The charge was executed in gallant style and at a double-quick until I arrived within 150 yards of the top of the hill, when I ordered a halt, seeing that the Second Regiment had halted, closed up the regiment, and opened a fire upon the enemy. By this time I found that my regiment had become separated a considerable distance from the Second, and discovered a regiment lying down between the two, somewhat to their rear. My right had run over part of this regiment in the charge, and I am informed that previously my left had done the same thing for another regiment, which was lying down and in its way. While my regiment was engaged in action to the front I ascertained that the regiment lying down between mine and the Second Regiment was the Thirty-eighth Georgia. Upon asking for its colonel, I was informed that all of its field officers were wounded, and that Captain Lawton, assistant adjutant-general and chief of Brigadier-General Lawton's staff, was controlling it. I asked him why his regiment was lying down; he replied that it had no ammunition. I inquired if he had bayonets, and whether he would fill up the space between me and the Second Regiment in the charge. He replied that he would, and I take pleasure in stating that upon my giving the order to charge he moved up in fine style and assisted in holding the hill during the night.

The whole line in this last and successful charge obliqued to the right and the right of my regiment swept the road, in which it captured two Parrott pieces in battery, which, from their heated condition, evidently had been used very freely and with terrible effect upon our forces. The enemy retired slowly and sullenly, and, to the best of my knowledge, did not abandon the pieces and their position until our line had approached to within 75 yards of his.

Not stopping at the top of the hill, I moved forward to a fence some 50 yards to the front, and placed the regiment behind it, nearly in line