Numbers 265 Report of Colonel Daniel H. Christie,
Twenty-third North Carolina Infantry, of skirmish May 30 near Fair Oaks and battle of Gaines Mill June 27.
HDQRS. TWENTY-THIRD Regiment NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
June [May] 30, 1862
I received orders this morning to detail four companies of my regiment for special service, and reporting to the brigadier-general commanding received the following verbal instructions having determined to command myself: To move down the Williamsburg road, drive in the enemy's pickets, and ascertain, if possible, his strength and position. I formed Company B, Captain Miller commanding; Company K, Captain Johnston commanding; Company C, Captain Scarborough commanding, in line, and deployed Company A, Captain Bennett commanding, as skirmishers, and moved, with my right resting on the Williamsburg road.
I had not advanced more than 300 yards before the enemy's pickets opened fire. I gave Captain Bennett the order to charge, which he did gallantly, driving the enemy in confusion before him. Having brought the reserve to the edge of the woods, I halted and waited the report of Lieutenant Luria, whom I had instructed to push forward as far as practicable with the right wing of the line of skirmishers. Meantime I detached small pickets to the right and left to secure my flanks. But a few minutes elapsed before I was informed and satisfied by a observation that the enemy was preparing to attack me with a largely superior force, and was about to give the order to retreat when he came rushing and shouting down upon me. I felt the danger of the moment and ordered the line of skirmishers again to charge, which was promptly and splendidly obeyed. This bravado checked and evidently disconcerted the enemy, pending which I quietly commenced the retreat, which was effected in good order.
The enemy is in large force in our immediate front and intrenching. The evidence before me is sufficient to enable me to say that 4 or 5 of the enemy were killed and 10 to 15 wounded; 1 prisoner.
I regret to announce the loss of Captain J. F. Scarborough, Company C, and Private Redfearn, Company A. Captain Scarborough was a brave and promising young officer; he fell nobly doing his duty. Private Redfearn was favorably mentioned by the officer commanding in the affair of yesterday morning and is spoken of in the highest terms for gallant and cool conduct to-day by his commanding officer. I regret to state that his body was left in the hands of the enemy.
[DANL. H. CHRISTIE,
Colonel Twenty-third North Carolina Volunteers.]
HDQRS. TWENTY-THIRD NORTH CAROLINA TROOPS.
August 10, 1862
I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the battles around Richmond:
On Wednesday, June 26, I received orders about 10 a.m. to get my command in readiness to move, and immediately after I formed with