War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0838 N.VA., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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On the morning of May 2, I was ordered to send skirmishers to the front of the brigade. I sent three companies, under the command of Captain [A. J.] McBride, and during the day received additional orders to re-enforce my skirmishers and advance them. I sent two more companies forward, Captain McBride gallantly leading them, and under a heavy fire drove the enemy's skirmishers to their rifle-pits, wit the loss of 1 man killed, 1 officer and 4 men wounded.

On the morning of May 3, being ordered to send not skirmishers, I sent out four companies, under the command of Captains [H. L.] Leon and [C. C.] Kibbee, and, being ordered to re-enforce them with the remainder of my regiment when necessary, I marched the reserve down to a covered position, at an easy distance from them. Being ordered to drive in their skirmishers, again Captains Leon and Kibbee, in conjunction with two regiments from General Wofford's brigade, gallantly charged them in their rifle-pits; but finding the enemy's force too strong, and intrenched, they fell back 200 yards, to a position where they could annoy the enemy without too great exposure to themselves. Seeing the hills in rear of the enemy's line carried by a portion of our army, I at once directed a portion of my reserve to pass around their right flank and close upon their rear. But before this portion moved off I thought that they might surrender, knowing them to be entirely cut off, and sent Lieutenant [A.] Bailey to them with a flag of truce, demanding their surrender, which demand was complied with, and I found them to be the Twenty-seventh Connecticut Regiment and a detachment from another Connecticut regiment, under the command of the colonel of the Twenty-seventh Connecticut, amounting in all to 340 men, including the regimental and company officers. One company from my regiment was detached as prisoners' guard, and the remainder joining the brigade, we marched back down the Turnpike road to the brick church, when we again line of battle. Scarcely had we gotten in position, when the enemy fired upon us at a distance not exceeding 100 yards, which was returned by us in such a manner as to completely break their lines; and seeing the brigade (General Wilcox's) immediately upon my right charging, I communicated the fact to General Semmes, who ordered us to charge, when every man and officer in my regiment leaped the fence and dashed forward at the enemy with a yell, cutting them down as they advanced, and completely routing them. After pursuing them for half a mile, and finding that General Wilcox's brigade had stopped, and we far in advance, without any support, General Semmes ordered us to fall back, which was done in good order.

The loss of this regiment during the day was 21 killed, 8 officers and 94 men wounded, and 5 missing.* We captured in this charge 124 prisoners, and collected together 159 guns, 81 bayonets, and other ac-counterments. Thus in one day this regiment, with a force of 230 men, captured more than double their number of prisoners, and have no doubt killed and wounded more than their own number.

During this engagement, I have been under obligations to Captain McBride, Kibbee, and Leon for the assistance which they cheerfully rendered me. There being no other field officer than myself present, and as we were skirmishing all the while, I was often compelled to call upon them for assistance, which was always given in the most gallant manner. I would remark that every officer and man that was present in these engagements deserve particular mention, an I am fully convinced that there was not a coward present in the regiment, and there was no starling from it.


*But see Gild's report, p.806.