also, subsequently, in the encounter at White Oak Swamp, eliciting from their commander a warm eulogium for their gallantry and for the honorable fact that there was not a straggler from their ranks the entire week. On Monday, thirtieth, I was again able to be in the field, and employed the forenoon in ascertaining movements in progress, and adjusting to them the arrangements of my own command. The afternoon was given to making some of those large rifle guns of use on the field on Tuesday, if needed and practicable. Tuesday, first July, was spent by me in seeking, for some time, the commanding General, that I might get orders; and, by reason of the intricacy of routes, failing in this, in examining positions near the two armies, toward ascertaining what could be best done with a large artillery force, and especially whether any point could be reached, whence our large guns might be used to good purpose. These endeavors had of course to be made again and again, under the enemy's shells; yet no site was found from which the long guns could play upon the enemy, without endangering our own troops; and no occasion was presented for bringing in the reserve artillery; indeed, it seemed that not one half the division batteries were brought into action on either Monday or Tuesday. To remain near by, therefore, and await events and orders, in readiness for whatever service might be called for, was all that I could do. Here again it was my privilege to be thrown with the President, he having arrived some time after nightfall, at the house near the battle-field, where I had just before sought a resting-place. On Wednesday, second, active operations being interfered with by a heavy rain, my main efforts were directed to examining a number of batteries, sending to the rear some that had been injured, and having taken to Richmond such of the captured ordnance as had not been previously removed. Thursday, third, the retreat of the enemy beyond Turkey Creek having been effected, and no probability of another renewal of engagement then appearing, I received, on calling on the commanding General, personal instructions to take to the rear all the artillery not required for the divisions, and to cooperate with the ordnance and quartermaster's departments in having sought for and secured all the stores wrested from or left by the enemy. With the discharge of these duties on that day, and several others succeeding, terminated the moderate share it was the privilege of my command to have during that eventful period in the toils, sacrifices, and inestimable services of our heroic army. Our loss in the several contests of the occasion was, in Major Jones's battalion, five men killed and twenty-four wounded, thirteen horses disabled, and two wheels destroyed. In Colonel Brown's regiment, one man wounded and two horses killed. In Lieutenant-Colonel Cutts's battalion, (Lane's company,) three men killed, five wounded, and one horse killed. In Major Richardson's battalion, (Woolfolk's company,) one man killed, and three wounded. In Major Nelson's battalion, one man killed, one wounded, (though seven struck,) and four horses disabled. Making a total of ten men killed and thirty-four wounded, and twenty horses disabled. Of our medical staff, Surgeon J. R. Page and Assistant Surgeons Green, Perrin, Semple, Monteiro, and Hopkins were called upon for the exercise of their skill, and with exemplary fidelity devoted themselves not only to the relief of our own wounded, but to alleviating the injuries of other sufferers. In fact, my entire staff was assiduous in duty, and I may safely declare that no truer spirit animated our best troops than was exercised by those under my command. In conclusion, while gratefully acknowledging that divine favor which crowned us with victory, I would commend to the consideration of the commanding General what seems to me to have been a serious error with regard to the use of artillery in these several fights. Too little was thrown into action at once, too much was left in the rear unused. One or two batteries brought into position at a time to oppose a much larger artillery force, well posted, must greatly suffer, if not ultimately yield, under the concentrated fire. This was in several instances our experience. We needed more guns taking part, alike for our own protection and for crippling the enemy. With a powerful array opposed to his own, we divide his attention, shake his nerves, make him shoot at random, and drive him from the field the more readily, worsted and alarmed. A main cause of the error, in the present case, was, no doubt, a peculiar intricacy in the ground, from the prevalence of woods and swamps. We could form little idea of positions, and were very generally ignorant of those chosen by the enemy, and of the best modes of approaching them. Nor were good maps readily accessible, by which, in some measure, to supply this deficiency. Hence a considerable degree of perplexity, which nothing but careful reconnoissances by skilful officers could have obviated; but which being obviated, if the attack had been more cooperative, concentrated, and effectual, the enemy's condition would have been more crippled, and our success more triumphant, with less mourning in the land. I have the honor to be, most respectfully, Your obedient servant,
W. N. Pendleton, Brigadier-General and Chief of Artillery.
Report of Brigadier-General R. S. Ripley.
headquarters Fifth brigade, D. H. Hill's division, near Richmond, July 11, 1862.Major: I have the honor to report that on the morning of Thursday, the twenty-sixth June, the brigade under my command, consisting of the First and Third regiments North Carolina troops, and the Forty-fourth and Forty-eighth
Major J. W. Ratchford, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major J. W. Ratchford, Assistant Adjutant-General: