War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0784 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

fight, as well as the casualties, I refer you to the lists furnished by regimental commanders, herewith attached.*

All of which is respectfully submitted.


Brigadier General, Commanding Sixth Brigade, Longstreet's Division.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Longstreet's Division.

RICHMOND, VA., July 12, 1862.

SIR: About 11 o'clock on June 27, after crossing Beaver Dam Creek, my brigade moved forward with General Longstreet's division in the direction of Gaines' farm, or Cold Harbor. The division was halted near Hogan's farm. Soon after the division was halted General Pryor was ordered forward with his brigade to Gaines' house to drive back some skirmishers and a body of the enemy supposed to be in a skirt of wood near the house. General Wilcox and myself were ordered forward with our brigades to support him, the balance of the division remaining in a line at the Hogan farm. General Pryor advance, General Wilcox's and my brigade close in his rear. After a sharp skirmish the enemy was handsomely driven from the skirt of woods by General Pryor's brigade. The three brigades were subjected to a very heavy artillery fire from the enemy's batteries, planted on the other side of the Chickahominy. They were therefore thrown back into the woods in rear of Gaines' house, after the skirmishers had been driven out from the skirt of woods in front, to await further orders.

Here they remained until almost 4 o'clock in the evening, when they were ordered to advance and unite in a joint attack upon the enemy, who were posted on our side of the Chickahominy, southeast from Gaines' house. These three brigades-Wilcox's, Pryor's, and my own-constituted the extreme right of our attacking forces. General Wilcox was the senior brigadier present, and directed well the movement. The three brigades were thrown in line of battle near a ravine, where they were partially protected in front from the fire of the enemy. After they were formed in line of battle they were ordered to move rapidly over the field in front, some 600 or 800 yards in width, to the edge of the woods, where the enemy was posted. During this advance they were exposed to a raking fire from the enemy's artillery in front, as well as from his long range rifles. The advance was rapidly made with unbroken lines, displaying an order and discipline that would have been creditable to the oldest veterans. A more dangerous charge could not be made by troops than the one made by these three brigades on this occasion. The woods were reached with considerable loss in our ranks. A murderous fire was opened upon the enemy by our men and they were driven back. Our men encountered, on entering the woods, ditches and ravines, and in pursuing the enemy through the woods had to ascend a steep hill, but their course was onward and steady. The enemy, fighting with great desperation, were driven gradually back from one position to another; first from the edge of the wood back behind their works on the top of the hill, then their works were stormed and taken. Hard pressed, they were compelled to abandon


*Embodied in returns, p. 981.