previous next

[69] in and confined in a barn to the rear of the house where Col. Johnson was re-gathering his regiment, and bringing together the brave ones who had so gallantly fallen. Here it was found that all the casualties, about thirty, save one or two in the batteries, were in the Twenty-fifth. Lieut.-Col. Savage, Surgeon Weed, and Lieut. Halpin were wounded, while Capt. McMahon, Lieut. Fiske, and Lieut. Thompson had baptized their patriotism with their life-blood, falling upon the threshold of victory, fighting to the last, like the brave men that they were. Several of the most valued non-commissioned officers likewise fell here.

The guns captured were twelve-pound smoothbore brass howitzers, belonging to Latham's celebrated New-Orleans battery, and they were left in good order. The limber-boxes were nearly full of ammunition, though one of them had been blown up by a shell from Griffin during the first of the engagement. The charge of the Seventeenth New-York upon these guns was very handsomely done. The superior drill of the regiment was manifest in the solid and regular front which they preserved in moving forward. The officers behaved with coolness and unflinching valor. Major Bartram and Lieut.-Col. Morris, though both confined to their tents for several days previously, were in their saddles, and with Colonel McLane and Lieut.-Col. Vincent, of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, signalized their bravery by the capture of numerous prisoners single-handed. Gen. Butterfield complimented Col. Lansing very highly on his achievement.

The enemy fled beyond this point, his confusion becoming greater at every step. The cavalry pursued by each by-road, and helped to gather in the harvest of prisoners. The regiments halted briefly at the Court-House, finding it deserted of troops, the expected enemy having suddenly changed his tactics and moved off just in time to escape our net.

As elsewhere alluded to, the Twenty-second Massachusetts went out on the railroad and took up several hundred feet of the track, following up the road to the turnpike-crossing at Peake's Station, just below where the engagement took place. Here orders came back from Gen. Porter for the Twenty-second to continue to move up the railroad, and for all other regiments, the Forty-fourth and the battery below included, to move forward rapidly, as it was expected to meet the enemy in large force at or near Hanover. Col. Gove returned to the railroad, remarking that there were evidences of an attempt by the enemy to come upon our rear. The First and Second brigades then moved forward, but had not proceeded far before a cavalry picket rode in rapidly and informed Gen. Martindale that the enemy had brought up a force by rail, which was now coming swiftly forward for an attack upon our rear, with the very evident and confident hope of getting us between two fires, and chewing us up at their leisure. The Second Maine regiment, Col. Roberts, being in the rear, was immediately faced about and stationed by Gen. Martindale at the junction of the road by which the divisions had advanced, with the main turnpike to Richmond running parallel with the railroad. Between these two roads it was supposed the enemy would advance. They extended their flank, however, so as to cover both sides of the road by which we had come, advancing under shelter of the timber. The Forty-fourth New-York Col. Stryker, were here ordered into position on the left of Martin's battery, which was supported on the right by the Second Maine. The Twenty-fifth regiment was also sent for, it having halted at Dr. Kinney's house, the locality of their spirited engagement, and were attending to the wants of their wounded. Their brave colonel soon rallied them, having first thanked them in a brief speech for their gallantry, and, proceeding to the ground, took up a position on the left of the battery, before which the enemy had already appeared. The Forty-fourth was then ordered to deploy into the woods on the left and clear them of the rebel skirmishers, in order to protect one of our hospitals which was some distance in the rear. They started, but an attempt of the enemy on our right flank caused them to be recalled, and they returned to their position, engaging their opponents vigorously. The fight had now become hot. Six regiments of rebel infantry were in plain sight. Their especial attention seemed to be the right flank, where Col. Roberts, having taken a good position in the edge of the woods, was pouring into them volley after volley of the most terrible musketry. Col. Johnson was ordered to relieve Col. Roberts, and the Second Maine filed off to the right, changing front slightly, but keeping up its fire with telling effect. This movement, through some unavoidable circumstance, exposed both the Twenty-fifth and Forty-fourth to an enfilading fire, from which they suffered severely. But the Second Maine, though low in ammunition, still kept the enemy in check. He plied the left wing of the Forty-fourth desperately, but it was more than a match for him. Col. Johnson was here wounded, and subsequently had his horse shot under him. Adjt. Houghton, of the same regiment, likewise received a flesh-wound in the leg. Maj. Chapin, of the Forty-fourth, received two severe wounds, one in the chest and one in the leg. Adjt. Knox was wounded in the wrist; Lieut. Fox in the shoulder; Lieut.-Col. Rice had his horse killed under him, and his sword cut off the belt by a musket-ball. But in vain the enemy pressed; these three heroic columns, though losing severely at every discharge, stood their ground most nobly, never yielding an inch. The Second Maine finally got out of ammunition, when Col. Roberts appealed for a chance to use cold steel if he could not get cold lead.

While this hot fight was going on, the brigades which were in the advance were returning on the double-quick. They formed in line in the wheat-field near where the first engagement took place, then pressed through the woods vigorously, and were soon face to face with the enemy, who were evidently startled by the appearance of so strong

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Hanover Court House (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: