Next morning, after being subjected to a brisk shelling process from the enemy without loss except one horse, we moved forward in the road to the left of the Mechanicsville battery, halted near that battery, and about 9 or 10 o'clock moved to the road leading to Bethesda Church. General Ripley's brigade followed, mine being in reserve on that day.
Following the preceding brigades of the division, we came under heavy artillery fire at New Cold Harbor, when we were ordered to take shelter for a time at this point. We were subjected to a heavy fire for a half hour or more, but lost only 2 men, Lieutenant Ramsay and a private of the Fifth Alabama. I sent out both Captain Whiting and Lieutenant Webster, of my staff, from this point to communicate with the major-general commanding, but in moving forward in person communicated with him myself, and under his order moved forward in line of battle to the support of General Garland in a contemplated attack upon the enemy's battery to the left of Old Cold Harbor. Before the attack was made, however, the position of both Garland's brigade and mine was changed, both brigades being wheeled on Garland's left to the rear. Then we were ordered forward by Major-General Jackson to attack the enemy in front of New Cold Harbor, coming into the fight on the left of his troops. In crossing an almost impenetrable swamp to get into action great confusion ensued, from the fact that at the same point several brigades were crossing at the same time, and upon emerging from the swamp and striking the field beyond three of my regiments, the Fifth, Twelfth, and Twenty-sixth, were found on the left and behind, and the Sixth and Third Alabama on the right of Anderson's brigade, which was in front of us. Before reaching the swamp I had received an order from or through Brigadier-General Ripley to charge through the swamp at double-quick time. This order was obeyed by my brigade with alacrity, but the three first-named regiments, finding Anderson's brigade at a halt and in front of them engaged in a heavy fire of musketry, were halted; the Third and Sixth Alabama went on, however. The Third encountered troops of our own in front of them across the swamp. The Sixth did not, but moved on at a rapid pace into the field in front of the enemy's battery and in the face of their infantry, encountering there an enfilading fire from the battery and a heavy fire of musketry in front; and finding themselves unsupported the men were required by Colonel Gordon to lay down, and finally, no support arriving they retired under cover in perfectly good order, and there awaited with the Third further orders.
Almost upon the return of the Sixth Alabama the brigades of Generals Anderson and Garland having in the mean time, with three of my regiments, been brought into some sort of alignment, were ordered to charge. The charge was intended to be general, and had been, I thought, extended throughout the line; but upon traversing the field before spoken of and attaining the road beyond very nearly, I found upon examination of my line that two of my regiments had not move with my brigade, and upon examining the line farther to the right found that they were not with General Anderson either, and that his right was at least the length of two or three regiments from the lower edge of the field and liable to be turned, while on the right of General Anderson's brigade, the whole line having a moment before paused and hesitated, nearly if not the whole of the left of the division, as far as one in my position could see, broke and retreated in apparent confusion. I thought the whole of the brigade on the left of mine as well as my three regiments were involved in it.