held in reserve, and had no opportunity to deliver a fire. Three of my men, however, were wounded by fragments of shell.
My total loss has been 224 in killed and wounded, a detailed statement having already been furnished you. When it is stated that I entered the series of battles with less than 400 men, it will be seen that the proportion is very heavy.
That there were many stragglers from the field of battle is not to be denied. There have been stragglers from every field since the war began. As a general rule, however, it appeared to me that the men fought throughout the whole army as if each individual was thoroughly impressed with the belief that it was necessary that we should be victorious in the field before Richmond. Amid this army of heroes I have no reason to be dissatisfied with my regiment. Whether on the march, in the field, exposed to fatigue and privations, in the midst of danger and in the face of death, they were cheerful and obedient, prompt and daring. No order was given that they did not cheerfully and faithfully attempt to execute.
Where all behaved well it is difficult to make distinctions. My field and staff did their full duty; still I desire to make special mention of my lieutenant-colonel, Thomas J. Purdie. He was everywhere in the thickest of the fight, cool and courageous, encouraging the men and directing them in their duty. His services were invaluable. I desire also to make special mention of Captains Savage, Barry, McLaurin, Gore, and Byrne. They were all conspicuous in the discharge of their duties, and all wounded on the field, the last three very seriously, Captain Byrne having lost an arm.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ROBT. H. COWAN,
Colonel, Commanding Eighteenth North Carolina Troops.
No. 344. Report of Colonel James H. Lane,
Twenty-eighth North Carolina Infantry, of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Farzier's Farm [Nelson's Farm, or Glendale], and Malvern Hill.
HDQRS. TWENTY-EIGHTH Regiment NORTH CAROLINA VOLS., Near Richmond, Va., July 12, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to report that on Wednesday, June 25, I left camp with my regiment, numbering 480, and, with the balance of your brigade, proceeded up the Telegraph road, crossed the Chickahominy on the morning of the 26th, and advanced toward Meadow Bridge. Two of my companies were ordered to Mrs. Crenshaw's bridge to apprise Lieutenant-Colonel Hoke, with a portion of his regiment which was doing picket duty on the south side of the Chickahominy, that the way was clear. We then continued our march toward Mechanicsville. The fight had commenced on our reaching this place, and we were ordered to support a battery which was firing from the works to the left of the road. I had 1 man wounded that evening. We slept upon the field, and were held as a support again next morning, when the artillery opened upon us, and another one of my men was wounded.
As soon as it was ascertained that the enemy had abandoned his position and was in full retreat we were ordered to follow, and on