in person. We pointed out to him the situation, and explained our proposed plan, which he at once adopted, and ordered the charge to be made without delay, as the evening was already wearing late. Under the order of the General of division all the brigades were to advance, and accordingly no time was lost in sending back detached regiments to their brigades. This will account for the fact that I found on the left, and under my general supervision, the Third North Carolina, Colonel Mears, of General Ripley's brigade, and one of the regiments of General Rodes's brigade. By a change of position, unnecessary to be detailed, I had placed Colonel McRae, with the Fifth North Carolina, on the left of my brigade; and the line being a long one, (with the additions stated,) I requested him to exercise a general supervision over the troops on the left, subject to my orders. The whole line now moved forward with rapidity and enthusiasm. So soon as it had well cleared the skirt of timber and emerged upon the open plateau, the enemy's artillery played upon it; but their fire was checked by a movement presently to be mentioned. The effect of our appearance at this opportune juncture, cheering and charging, decided the fate of the day. The enemy broke and retreated; made a second brief, stand, which induced my immediate command to halt, under good cover of the bank on the road-side, and return their fire; when, charging forward again, they broke and scattered in every direction; and following, I found that I had effected a junction with Major-General Jackson's column, meeting with General Lawton in person, and with the officers and troops of Hood's and Winder's brigades. The battle was now over, except a scattering fight around a house to our left, near which the enemy's batteries had been posted. As our line moved forward, several regiments on the left, viz., the Twentieth North Carolina and Third North Carolina, were swung around by Major-General Hill's orders to attack this battery, and thus to prevent it from playing on the other troops charging over the plain. In this movement the Twentieth North Carolina, Colonel Iverson, participated, sustaining a heavy loss; and, at a later period, I sent Colonel Scales, Thirteenth North Carolina, to reinforce our troops there. The attack was partially successful, our troops acting handsomely, and maintaining themselves against superior numbers. Having effected the junction with Major-General Jackson's troops, as above stated, I suggested to General Lawton that further reenforcements should be sent to this point on the left, which being done, the enemy made no further stand, but abandoned the entire field. Thus ended the battle of Cold Harbor, in which this brigade bore an honorable part, sustaining a loss there of about five hundred killed and wounded. That night, with the other troops, we bivouacked on the field. The next morning, about ten A. M., we moved, with the other troops, in the direction of the Grapevine Bridge, to Turkey Hill. Finding the bridge destroyed, and that the enemy had some force and a battery on the other side, we were halted and drawn up in line of battle on the left of the road, while several of our batteries shelled the supposed position of the enemy. We were delayed at this point during that day and the next. On the morning of the----, the Grapevine Bridge being rebuilt and the road clear, this brigade, with the rest of the division, crossed, and, moving across the line of the York River road, struck into the road to Bottom's Bridge, down which we proceeded, capturing prisoners, &c., until we turned to the right, following the course of the enemy, and took the road crossing the White Oak Swamp and running into the Long Bridge road. Upon reaching the White Oak Swamp, we found the bridge destroyed and the enemy drawn up in a strong position on the other side, with artillery. The infantry being kept under cover, our artillery was brought up in force, and opened on the enemy with marked effect. They withdrew their battery to a safer position. At this point we were delayed another day, until the enemy retired and the bridge over the White Oak Swamp was rebuilt. Crossing next morning, we followed up the retreat of the enemy toward James River, into the Long Bridge road, and then into the Quaker road, toward Turkey Bridge. At Malvern Hill the enemy made their last stand, with several batteries and two lines of infantry in a commanding position. Our own infantry were put under cover near the road, waiting to observe the effect of the fire of our artillery, this brigade lying behind that of General Ripley, in reserve, with Colquitt's still in our rear. The concentrated fire of two of the enemy's batteries from the hill was too heavy for the single battery (Moorman's) which we opposed to them. Late in the afternoon orders were communicated that the Commander-in-Chief had selected a position from which our artillery could enfilade the enemy's batteries; that the effect of our fire could be seen, and that when the enemy's guns were crippled or silenced, a general advance of the infantry would be ordered. The enfilading fire soon commenced, and the commander of this division, accompanied by several of the brigade commanders, including the writer, went to a point from which the effect could be observed. So far from producing marked effect, the firing was so wild that we were returning to our posts under the impression that no movement of infantry would be ordered, when suddenly one or two brigades, belonging to a division on our right, (either Magruder's or Huger's,) charged out of the woods, toward the right, with a shout. Major-General Hill at once exclaimed: “That must be the general advance! Bring up your brigades as soon as possible and join in it.” Hurrying back to my own brigade, I moved it down the road, by the flank, to the edge of the field, over which the enemy's batteries were playing, and, filing out to my right, formed line of battle. I was then ordered to advance and charge the batteries, which were some eight or nine hundred yards off, on a commanding hill, straight to the
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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