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[353] may have been of a character not to be overcome. I do not know and cannot judge of them. The bridge being repaired, Jackson's command crossed over (Brigadier-General Whiting's division leading) and effected a junction with General Lee near a church a few miles from Malvern Hill. Whiting's division was turned off the road to the left at the foot of this hill, and mine to the right. We had to advance across an open field and ford a creek before getting under cover of the woods. We were in full view while effecting these objects, and suffered heavily from the Yankee artillery.

Brigadier-General Anderson, on the extreme left, had become engaged, his brigade roughly handled, and himself wounded and carried off the field, before the other brigade had crossed the creek. By the order of Major-General Jackson, the division was halted in the woods, and an examination made of the ground. The Yankees were found to be too strongly posted on a commanding hill, all the approaches to which could be swept by his artillery, and were guarded by swarms of infantry, securely sheltered by fences, ditches, and ravines. Tier after tier of batteries were grimly visible on the plateau, rising in the form of an amphitheatre. One flank was protected by Turkey Creek, and the other by gunboats. We could only reach the first line of batteries by traversing an open space of from three to four hundred yards, exposed to a murderous fire of grape and canister from the artillery, and musketry from the infantry. If that first line was carried, another and another, still more difficult, remained in rear. I had expressed my disapprobation of a further pursuit of the Yankees to the commanding General, and to Generals Jackson and Longstreet, even before I knew of the strength of their position. An examination satisfied me that an attack would be hazardous to our arms.

About ten o'clock, I think, I received a note from General Jackson, enclosing one from Colonel R. H. Chilton, chief of General Lee's staff, saying that positions were selected, from which our artillery could silence the Yankee artillery, and as soon as that was done, Brigadier-General Armistead would advance with a shout, and carry the battery immediately in his front. This shout was to be the signal for a general advance, and all the troops were then to rush forward with fixed bayonets. I sent for my brigade commanders and showed them the note. Brigadier-General Rodes being absent, sick, the gallant Gordon was put in command of his brigade. That accomplished gentleman and soldier, Colonel C. C. Tew, Second North Carolina regiment, took command of Anderson's brigade. Garland, Ripley, and Colquitt, and these two Colonels, were present at the interview. Instead of ordering up one or two hundred pieces of artillery to play on the Yankees, a single battery (Moorman's) was ordered up, and knocked to pieces in a few minutes; one or two others shared the same fate of being beat in detail. Not knowing how to act under these circumstances, I wrote to General Jackson that the firing from our batteries was of the most farcical character. He repeated the order for a general advance at the signal of the shouting from General Armistead. As well as I could learn the position of our troops, Brigadier-General Whiting was on my left, Major-Generals Magruder and Huger on my right, and Major-General Holmes some miles in our rear. While conversing with my brigade commanders, shouting was heard on our right, followed by the roar of musketry. We all agreed this was the signal agreed upon, and I ordered my division to advance. This, as near as I could judges, was about an hour and a half before sundown. We advanced alone, neither Whiting on the left, nor Magruder or Huger on the right, moved forward an inch. The division fought heroically and well, but fought in vain. Garland, in my immediate front, showed all his wonted courage and enthusiasm; but he needed and asked for reenforcements. I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Newton, Sixth Georgia, to his support; and observing a brigade by a fence in our rear, I galloped back to it, and found it to be that of Brigadier-General Toombs. I ordered it forward to support Garland, and accompanied it. The brigade advanced handsomely to the brow of the hill, but soon retreated in disorder. Gordon, commanding Rodes's brigade, pushed gallantly forward, and gained considerable ground, but was forced back. The gallant and accomplished Mears, Third North Carolina regiment, Ripley's brigade, had fallen at the head of his regiment, and that brigade was streaming to the rear; Colquitt's and Anderson's brigades had also fallen back. Ransom's brigade had come up to my support, from Major-General Huger. A portion of it came, but without its Brigadier. It moved too far to the left, and became mixed up with the mass of troops near the parsonage, on the Quaker road, suffering heavily and effecting little. Brigadier-General Winder was sent up by Major-General Jackson, but he came too late, and also went to the same belt of woods near the parsonage, already overcrowded with troops. Finally, Major-General Ewell came up, but it was after dark, and nothing could be accomplished. I advised him to hold the ground we had gained, and not to attempt a forward movement.

The battle of Malvern Hill might have been a complete and glorious success, had not our artillery and infantry been fought in detail. My division batteries, having been three times engaged, had exhausted all their ammunition, and had been sent back for a fresh supply. If I had had them with me, with a good supply of ammunition, I feel confident that we could have beaten the force immediately in front of us. Again, the want of concert with the infantry divisions was most painful. Whiting's division did not engage at all, neither did Holmes's. My division fought an hour, or more, the whole Yankee force, without assistance from a single confederate soldier. The front line of Yankees was twice broken and in full retreat, when fresh troops came to its support. At such critical junctures, the general advance of the


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