War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0878 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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and were posted on the right, opening a fire from their position on the enemy lodged in their rifle pits beyond the creek. Night approaching, and having now ascertained the position and strength of the enemy's works-that they were, contrary to our expectations, located on the far side of Beaver Dam; that my right was separated from them by a wide morass, through which ran the creek, considerably dammed up, and that the ground gained by the daring of the Thirty-fifth and Fourteenth Georgia and Third Louisiana Battalion was still separated from the enemy's main work by a deep ravine and their position strengthened by abaist at the foot of the hill, while its crest was strongly supported by extensive rifle pits, manned with sharpshooters-I concluded it was better to adopt another line of approach by a movement farther to the left, unobserved, through the woods, perhaps three-quarters of a mile, so as to gain the table-land near the Old Church road, and take the work in rear. Darkness prevented the execution of this plan, and I determined to bivouac my brigade, and reported to you my readiness to execute the enterprise the next morning.

In this fight I have to report the loss of some of my best officers in killed and wounded and many of the men, all of whom behaved in a manner worthy of all praise. I would especially notice the conduct of Colonel E. L. Thomas, commanding Thirty-fifth Georgia, who evinced fearlessness and good judgment not only in this affair, but throughout the expedition. He was wounded on this occasion, but remained always on duty at the head of his regiment. His adjutant, too, Lieutenant Ware, was conspicuous for his gallantry, and sealed with his life his devotion to the cause of his country, as did other valuable officers, whose names have been reported to you. I have also, as the result of this action, to regret the loss from the service, at least for a time, of Colonel A. J. Lane, commanding Forty-ninth Georgia, who received a painful and serious wound in the arm, and of Lieutenant-Colonel [Thomas J.] Simmons, of the same [Forty-fifth] regiment; nor can I omit to call special attention to the gallant conduct of Captain L. P. Thomas, quartermaster of the Thirty-fifth Georgia, who volunteered his services for the occasion in the field, seeing his regiment deficient in field officers. He rendered valuable service until he was seriously wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel [Robert W.] Folsom, Fourteenth Georgia, also deserve special mention. This officer was confined to his sick, bed, but as soon as the order to move forward was given he got up and gallantly led his regiment, though laboring under the effects of disease.

On Friday morning, the enemy having evacuated the place attacked the evening before by my brigade, I commenced the march as ordered by you-deployed in line of battle in the edge of the woodland north of the Mechanicsville road, between the village and the river. Soon I received orders to fall in, the column proceeding down the road, and placed my brigade in the position assigned it, next to the Second Brigade, Brigadier-General Gregg's. Captain McIntosh's battery, attached to my brigade, having exhausted its ammunition and one piece being disabled, was left behind to renew its supply and repair damages, and I ordered up Captain Greenlee Davidson's battery, Letches Artillery, from the other side of the Chickahominy. It was, however, so late in the day before that gallant and active officer received my order that it was not in his power to reach me before the affair at Cold Harbor, though I learn that he took a part in the fight at a point in that field which he reached before ascertaining where my command was posted.

After crossing the stream at Gaines' Mill I was ordered by you to