while gallantly bearing the flag ahead, was cut down by a shell, and waving it around called for some one to bear it along. Instantly Captain Martin, Company I, seized the flag, and with words of encouragement called on all to follow. The noble, manly conduct of Captain Martin was such as to challenge the admiration of all.
At this time I was some 50 yards ahead of my regiment, urging them to passe quickly this dangerous position, and therefore cannot speak of my personal knowledge of the individual instances of bravery and courage. But few of my regiment, as well [as] the other three which started together, reached the ravine at this time.
You will recollect that two of our companies were detached on the 29th to collect and guard stores taken from the enemy, and the other eight were so mall and the officers so few that they were consolidated into four companies, having only four captains for duty; three of these reached the ravine, and one, Captain Henry Edmunds, was utterly exhausted and instantly taken so ill that I advised him to return, with the assistance of one of his men. After remaining in this position for about an hour I dispatched the sergeant-major to General Armistead to inform him of our position had condition, and that in my opinion we ought to be re-enforced. I have not the sergeant-major since, now being sick, and received no reply.
Somewhere between 6 and 7 o'clock General Wright brought with him into the ravine two regiments and formed line of battle immediately behind ours, and addressing a few words to the men, led the charge up the hill to take the battery. Captain Saunders was severely wounded in the thigh soon after reaching the top of the hill. The different members of our regiment were formed into one company, under command of Captain Martin, whose gallantry was not exceeded by any one in that memorable battle, and with the other parts of the two brigades were compelled to fall back as often as they charged the batteries of the enemy. Our line, composed of parts of three regiments, was yet a short one, with two colors, and for our one company it would have seemed that a musket would have been of more value than the color, but Corporal Pollard, Company E (one of the color guard), insisted he would carry it, and when he fell gallantly bearing it along handed it to a Georgia who was fighting by his side. The darkness of the night separated us all, and after 9 o'clock gave up the contest for the time.
Out of 128 men, 30 were killed and wounded.*
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. B. TOMLIN,
Colonel, Commanding Fifty-third Regiment Virginia Volunteers.
Captain J. D. DARDEN, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
No. 321. Report of Major George M. Waddill,
Fifty-third Infantry, of the engagement at King's School-House, or Oak Grove.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTY-THIRD VIRGINIA REGIMENT, June 26, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that after a week's sickness, on the 25th instant, at 11.30 a.m. I returned to my regiment, then on
*Nominal list omitted.