War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0692 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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occupied by General Cobb. General Toombs was stationed to the right and rear of Colonel Anderson. In an hour or two, under orders from General Magruder, sent through Captain Coward, of my staff, Colonel Anderson was advanced to the position of General Cobb, who had just gone to the support of General Armistead, General Toombs occupying Colonel Anderson's position. Hardly was this change made, when Anderson was ordered by General Magruder to the support of General Cobb. Having no instructions to the contrary, Colonel Anderson advanced upon the front, occupied by General Cobb, over broken ground and into a dense swamp. Under orders from General Magruder and the direction of Captain Coward the brigade changed front to the left and advanced in line of battle through the swamp, followed closely by that of General Toombs, who took position upon his (Anderson's) left, and under repeated orders from General Magruder both brigades were hurried through the swamp, the difficulties of which, or the fearful fire of the enemy, cannot be exaggerated. Owing to less distance General Toombs reached the plateau first, and advanced directly toward the enemy's batteries, in open view, some 600 or 700 yards ahead and slightly to the left. To that point everything tended, my own command as well as others already on the field, soon bringing the different troops in contact and under the terrific fire of the enemy, causing partial confusion, to avoid which, and erroneously thinking I had so ordered it, Toombs' brigade obliqued to the left, crossed the road, getting out of my control. These movements had been made under a murderous fire, which these brave troops endured without the opportunity of returning a shot. For the further movements of this brigade I have to refer you to the report of General Toombs, herewith inclosed. Colonel Anderson, coming up in line with and to the right of General Toombs, struck the ridge at a point where it fell rapidly away from his front toward the right, causing the two regiments on his left to mount the ridge, while the balance of his brigade was in the bottom. To remedy this and to advance with his whole command in line he halted, and retired the two regiments in advance, so as to bring his brigade parallel with the edge of the plateau. Before this change of front was completed three of his regiments, mistaking some order for that to advance, rushed forward, coming under a deadly cross-fire of artillery and suffering severe loss.

Night had now closed in, and convinced that further attempts would be unavailing, this command was kept under the crest, in order to repel any advance of the enemy. Remaining in this position until about 11 o'clock, and there being no water convenient to the men, in the absence of other instructions I withdrew the command to the position occupied previous to the commencement of the action.

Before closing this report I desire to bear testimony to the brave and soldierly behavior of the officers and men of my command. Especially are my thanks due, for prompt, cheerful, and efficient service, to the members of my staff. Captain Coward, assistant adjutant-general, rendered valuable assistance to me throughout, and in Tuesday's battle most gallantly went into action in lead of one of my brigades.

Captain Latrobe, acting adjutant and inspector general; Captain Ford, aide-de-camp, and Captain Thurston and Jones, volunteer aides, the former (Captain Thurston) in charge of ordnance trains, displayed courage and coolness, Captain Ford accompanying a portion of my command in the charge on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Campbell, engineer officer, attached to my staff, superintended the construction of the works around Mrs. Price's house and