of my best officers in killed and wounded, and many men, all of whom behaved in a manner worthy of all praise. I would specially notice the conduct of Colonel E. L. Thomas, commanding Thirty-fifth Georgia, who evinced fearlessness and good judgment, not only in this affair, but throughout the whole expedition. He was wounded on this occasion, but remained always on duty, at the head of his regiment. His Adjutant, too, Lieutenant Ware, was conspicuous for his gallantry, and sealed with his life his devotion to the cause of his country, as did other valuable officers, whose names have been reported to you. I have also, as the result of this action, to regret the loss from the service, at least for a time, of Colonel A. J. Lane, commanding Forty-ninth Georgia, who received a painful and serious wound in the arm, and of Lieutenant-Colonel Simmons, of the same regiment. Nor can I omit to call special attention to the gallant conduct of Captain L. P. Thomas, quartermaster of the Thirty-fifth Georgia, who volunteered his services for the occasion, in the field, seeing his regiment deficient in field officers. He rendered valuable services, until he was seriously wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Fulsom, of the Fourteenth Georgia, also deserves special mention. This officer was confined to his sick bed, but as soon as the order was given to move forward he got up, and gallantly led his regiment, though laboring under the effects of disease. On Friday morning, the enemy having evacuated the place attacked the evening before by my brigade, I commenced the march, as ordered by you, deployed in line of battle in the edge of the woodland north of the Mechanicsville road, between the village and the river. Soon I received orders to fall in, the column proceeding down the road, and placed Zzz, brigade in the position assigned it, next to the Second brigade, Brigadier-General Gregg's. Captain McIntosh's battery, attached to my brigade, having exhausted its ammunition, and one piece being disabled, was left behind, to renew its supply and repair damages; and I ordered up Captain Greenlee Davidson's battery, (Letcher artillery,) from the other side of the Chickahominy. It was, however, so late in the day before that gallant and active officer received my order, that it was not in his power to reach me before the affair at Cold Harbor, though I learn that he took a part in the fight at a point on that field, which he reached before ascertaining where my command was posted. After crossing the stream at Gaines's Mill, I was ordered by you to proceed up the right-hand road ; and afterward I received an order from you, through one of your aids, to march with caution, as the enemy were said to be in force at Turkey Hill. I threw forward an advance guard, and flankers on each side of the road, in the woods, until I arrived at the cross-roads, where we observed the enemy's pickets, two of whom we captured in the wood on our right. I then filed to the right, marching through the woods by the right flank, until my right reached the field in which General Pender's battery was posted and playing on the enemy. Here I faced to the front, and marched forward in line of battle, driving the enemy's skirmishers before us, whilst I was supported by General Field's brigade, a few paces in rear. On arriving near the edge of the woods, we came under a brisk fire of the enemy, which increased as we emerged from it and crossed the narrow slip of land to the crest of the hill. This hill was separated by a deep ravine and creek from the enemy's position. Here the brigade encountered a very hot fire, both of musketry and shells, which brought us to a halt from the double-quick in which I commenced the charge. But it was only after a third charge, in which every effort was made by me to gain the enemy's lines beyond the ravine, that in consequence of some wavering in the centre, I concluded to order my men to lie down in the edge of the woods and hold the position. At the same time, it seeming to be totally impracticable at this point to effect a passage of the ravine, I ordered the Thirty-fifth and Forty-fifth Georgia, who, under their brave leaders, Colonels E. L. Thomas and F. Hardeman, the former on my right flank and the latter on my left, had proceeded a considerable distance in advance of the centre, to fall back in line and lie on the ground, which position we maintained, until, by the general charge, the day was won. On the night of the twenty-ninth, (Sunday,) my brigade, having had a very exhausting march in the position assigned it in your column, bivouacked on the Darbytown road near Atlee's. Many of the men fell down by the wayside, unable to march farther on that day. The next morning, (thirtieth,) when the firing commenced at Frazier's farm, I received an order from you to form close column of regiments on the side of the road, which was executed, on the right. Here we were within the range of the enemy's guns, but had not many casualties. About sunset, I received your order to bring forward my brigade and form line of battle on the crest of the ridge, which was quickly done. the road dividing my line into two parts, the Third Louisiana battalion and Fourteenth Georgia regiment forming the left, while the Thirty-fifth, Forty-fifth, and Forty-ninth Georgia formed the right wing. I was then ordered to send forward my left, wing, under the senior officer present, Lieutenant-Colonel Pendleton, of the Third Louisiana battalion, who led it into the fight. A few minutes later, by your order, I led the remainder of my brigade into the fight, with a warning from you, that one of our brigades was in my front. This order was promptly and enthusiastically executed by the whole command, the more so, doubtless, as, at this moment, the President of the Confederate States galloped by us, the whole length of my column, and was recognized and vociferously cheered by the men. We had about half a mile to march, and the sound and flash of the musketry indicating the enemy's position to be on the left of the road, I filed to the left, and changed my front forward, so as to form line of battle parallel to what appeared to be that of the enemy. By this time it was dark.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Foreign accounts of the fight.
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.