War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0751 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Search Civil War Official Records

On Monday we continued the march, but did not reach the battle-field of that day until 10 o'clock at night.

The next morning at daylight the pickets reported that the enemy was advancing. I at once ordered the brigade in line of battle and advanced across the field to a skirt of woods, halted, and awaited his attack, throwing out several companies of skirmishers; but the report proved to be unfounded, the enemy having during the night retreated, leaving his dead and wounded in our hands. Our companies of skirmishers captured a number of prisoners, who were sent to the rear.

About 2 o'clock the enemy were discovered in a strong position and in immense numbers on the Crew Farm and Malvern Hill. By your orders, given to me in person, the brigade was formed in the woods in front of the enemy and in range of his fire both from his batteries and gunboats in James River, about 1 1/2 miles distant, the men being protected as well as it could be done by the woods and brow of a hill. Here shot and shell fell thick among us, several being killed and wounded, and among them Major Moody, of the Twenty-first Regiment, who was seriously wounded in the foot.

At about 6 o'clock the brigade was ordered to advance upon the enemy to support our friends, who were already engaged, and if possible to take his batteries. The order was promptly obeyed. The brigade was formed in the open field, and advanced upon the enemy under a terrible fire of shell, grape, canister, and Minie balls, and continued the assault until night closed the scene, when it retired in good order to the position it formerly occupied in the woods. Colonels Holder, Griffin, and Lieutenant-Colonel Brandon, commanding Twenty-first Regiment, were all severely wounded while gallantly and nobly leading their regiments into action.

Lieutenant-Colonel Carter, commanding the Thirteenth Regiment, while landing his men with consummate skill, was wounded and taken from the field. The command in the Thirteenth Regiment devolved upon Major McElroy; in the Seventeenth on Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser; in the Eighteenth on Lieutenant-Colonel Luse, and in the Twenty-first on Captain Brooks, all of whom discharged their duties bravely and with signal ability.

The entire command, although one-third of its number fell upon the field, maintained its ground with undaunted courage, and dealt bravely terrible blows upon the ranks of the enemy, as his dead and wounded in front of our lines the next morning clearly proved.

I am under peculiar obligations to Major Inge, adjutant-general of the brigade, for his valuable assistance in both engagements. He was prompt in the execution of all orders, and constantly exposed to the severest fire of the enemy's guns in directing the regiment into battle.

To Captain Costin, aide-de-camp, I am much indebted. He was with me in the field encouraging the men by his example and gallantly discharging his duty. I was deprived of the valuable services of Majors Watts and Hawkins by the fall of General Griffith, both of whom were ordered to remain with him.

It is proper for me to say that twice during the battle Captain McCarthy's battery engaged the enemy, and that both he and his command behaved with coolness and courage worthy of the cause. Dr. Gilmore, senior surgeon of the brigade, and his assistants, in the discharge of their duties, were indefatigable, having the wounded borne from the field as rapidly as they could be found. I desire to call the attention of the Department to this officer, who, by his skill as a surgeon