the shot endangered our own troops, pursuing the retreating foe, a message from the commanding General caused to be discontinued this adjunct to the main attack, after great effort on the part of Captain Milledge, under Major Richardson's supervision, to conduct one of these large guns along the hill's summit down the stream. The route we found impracticable; and as guns of short range were unavailing, those batteries which had been under fire for several days were sent to the rear. Later in the day, however, Captain Purcell was permitted to take one of the long-range guns to the front, on theNine-mile road, in the hope of an opportunity for service there; and subsequently, Major Richardson succeeded in bringing the other by the same road with a similar hope. My own route, along the crest, brought me, about nine A. M., to a point below Dr. Friends' house, whence, with a field glass, I distinctly saw the enemy in very large numbers, and in battle order, upon an open slope some two miles below Dr. Gaines's farm, and portions of our own troops gradually advancing, as if feeling their way along the difficulties of the left bank. The powerful array of the former, and the cautious progress of the latter, induced me at once to send a duplicate despatch, through the nearest General, to the Commander-in-Chief, notifying him of the observed position and strength of the enemy. My two Aids, Acting Lieutenant Charles Hatcher and Cadet Taliaferro, who bore these despatches across the different swamps, deserve honorable mention for the alacrity, resolution, and success with which they performed the task. After some time, a return message came from the commanding General, directing that our longest range guns should be made, if possible, to play upon the observed position of the enemy. An arrangement to this end had already been made, and two powerful rifle-pieces, under Captain Dabney, were on their way to the best place accessible, just below Mrs. Price's. At the house, near this latter position, I met the President, General Magruder, and other officers, and informed them of the fact thus noticed. Finding with the long-range guns too little ammunition, I despatched an Aid, Lieutenant Peterkin, to have hastened from Richmond a sufficient supply. The trust he discharged with exemplary energy. Meanwhile a sharp artillery contest was commenced between some of our batteries on Dr. Garnett's field, and those of the enemy behind their breastworks, bringing numerous shells about our position. This contest was most gallantly waged on our side, under the general direction of Lieutenant-Colonel S. D. Lee, and participated in with great spirit by Captains Lane and Woolfolk, and by Captain Kirkpatrick and Lieutenant Massie, with a portion of the Huckstep battery; the two latter being especially commended by Major Nelson, whose calm and cheerful courage, under a very hot fire, was of utmost service to our inexperienced men, in their post of extraordinary exposure. The other portions of Major Nelson's command were also greatly exposed, though favored with no opportunity of returning fire. The two large rifles under Captain Dabney being posted as far forward as practicable, and committed, with instructions, to the command of Major Garnett, in due time opened upon the enemy across the stream — with what effect we could not determine. Returning to the better post of observation, below Dr. Friends' house, I watched the course of events till the fierce encounter, which, late in the afternoon, gave the field to our victorious troops. Immediately thereafter, the President requested me to conduct him to General McLaws's headquarters, and I have gratefully to record his preservation under a warm fire from the enemy's batteries, which we encountered on the way. Saturday, June twenty-eighth, my first care was directed to getting into position, at Dr. Garnett's, guns of sufficient power to silence the enemy's heavy batteries. Major Richardson's two large guns were ordered forward, and preparations made for the immense Blakely guns, (rifled,) which it was found could not be adjusted earlier than the following morning. Having again visited General Huger's front, and found nothing new, I returned, and remained at Mr. Price's, while Lane's, Dabney's, and Woolfolk's guns dislodged the enemy from his stronghold near Goulding's. This day having passed with no decisive information on our side of the Chickahominy as to many events on the other side, and there being with us no little suspense, the President, about sunset, requested me to bear for him a confidential message to the commanding General. This, with its sequence, arrangements with division commanders (by General Lee's order) for having the enemy's movements vigilantly watched that night, kept me at work until past one o'clock. Fever supervening disabled me on the twenty-ninth, so that the day was necessarily passed by me as a quiet Sabbath. Portions of my command were, however, actively engaged, under arrangements described, in pursuing, with other forces, the retreating enemy. During the preceding days, Colonel Brown and Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman had sought opportunity of use beyond the Chickahominy. The latter accompanied two batteries of the regiment, the Richmond Fayette Artillery, Lieutenant Clopton commanding, and the Williamsburg Artillery, Captain Coke, ordered, on the morning of the twenty-seventh, to report to General Lee at Mechanicsville, as he had requested. These batteries were held as part of the reserve of that portion of the army, and Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman was called to act as chief of artillery for General A. P. Hill's division during several days, Major R. L. Walker being at the time sick. Colonel Brown became a close spectator of the Friday evening's struggle, and brought his experience and authority to bear in extricating one of his companies, Third Howitzers, Captain Smithe, on duty with a brigade, from a perilous position in which they could do no good. The reserve battalion of Major Jones, accompanying General D. H. Hill's division, was much engaged three several days, and did excellent service, as it did,
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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