War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0887 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

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skirmish one of the last-named company was mortally, and a few soldiers in the other companies were seriously, wounded.

It is a palpable duty, general, that I should express my high appreciation of the gallant conduct of the three companies that were more immediately under my command. Captain J. McLeod Turner, of Company F, had assigned to him the perilous duty of covering my front, and skirmishing through woods, open fields, and swamps, for the purpose of discovering the position of the enemy's pickets. Whenever he became engaged he was promptly and fearlessly sustained by Capts. R. B. MacRae and J. G. Knox, of Companies C and A, under my command. Captain MacRae succeeded in bringing away the enemy's flag from the first skirmish near Crenshaw's and Captain Knox did his full part in effecting the dislodgment of the enemy. After this second skirmish Company F was withdrawn from the front and Company A ordered to assume that position, in order to divide the labors of the march. Captain Knox's company was now engaged in actively firing for a while upon an actual or supposed enemy in our front, but there was no response.

About the middle of the afternoon, having learned that the greater portion of Major General A. P. Hill's division had crossed the Chickahominy and was in front of us, I reported to you, whereupon I was ordered to unite my command with the rest of my regiment under Colonel Campbell. I may confidently assert that no unnecessary time was spent in the various skirmishers just described.

About an hour and a half before dark we reached Mechanicsville under a terrific fire of shot and shell. For a short time we were compelled to wait until we could receive orders from General Hill. Before dark we were ordered to take our position in a road which appeared to run at right angles with the road we had previously occupied and to the left of it. Upon the application of General Archer the Seventh and Twenty-eighth Regiments were ordered by you to report to him, but upon Colonel Campbell's application we ascertained he had no immediate duty for us to perform. It was then fully dark, though the artillery conflict still continued, and as soon as it ceased we were ordered to take our position immediately in front of the enemy's batteries and about a quarter of a mile therefrom, being still in the front of your brigade. At this point we bivouacked for the night, and were prepared for action at 3 o'clock next morning, under orders from you.

In a short time after this the enemy's batteries opened upon us, as did some of their sharpshooters. Under this fire we remained for about an hour and a half, when we were ordered into the woods on the right of the road last spoken of, to which position we moved, marching by the right flank.

About 10 a.m. of the 27th ultimo we were ordered again to take our position in the road, which we accordingly did. After remaining there for some time it was ascertained that the enemy had abandoned his position in the batteries. We then took up our line of march for Gaines' Mill, which point we reached between 3 and 4 p.m. of the same day. Almost immediately upon arriving at this point our regiment was ordered into action. We advanced up the right-hand road, having thrown forward two companies as skirmishers, who were immediately engaged, when the whole regiment advanced rapidly to their support.

In this advance Company B did distinguished credit to itself and its commander, Captain R. S. Young, by the readiness with which it became aligned and its marked steadiness in advancing under a very heavy fire.