I immediately gave the order, “Forward in line of battle.” The march was handsomely performed. Orders were given that no musket was to be fired until we came up with and recognized our friends in front. The march was continued in perfect order, under a galling fire, until we came up to a fence, and, on my right, found my left wing in position, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pendleton. I immediately ordered my brigade over the fence, and, placing myself in its front, reformed the line, still believing our friends to be in front, and determined to proceed to their aid. At this moment I was just able to see a force, which seemed to be a brigade or division, marching down upon us, and was soon satisfied that they were the enemy; but it was impossible to inspire my men with this belief, especially as the enemy, not then more than fifty or seventy-five yards from us, were constantly singing out, “For God's sake don't fire on us; we are friends.” An order to fire, at this moment, I was satisfied would be unavailing; so I ordered, “Charge bayonets in double-quick,” hoping that a moment more would satisfy my men of their mistake. At this moment Lieutenant-Colonel Coleman, of the artillery, who happened to come up, rendered me valuable assistance in attempting to undeceive my command; but it seemed to be impossible, and its consequent demoralization was great and unfortunate. All doubt should soon have been removed on the part of the enemy, by the command, “Fire;” they delivered a very deadly fire, received by my then left wing, and chiefly the Forty-fifth Georgia, Colonel Hardeman. The men were ordered to lie down and continue the firing, until, finally, the enemy were driven from the field. It was in this affair that Colonel Hardeman, while nobly encouraging his brave men, was severely wounded, and I myself, receiving a blow on my forehead, fell disabled for a time, which devolved the command on Colonel Edward L. Thomas. The lists of killed and wounded in my brigade in these three fights, amounting to three hundred and eighty-four, have already been reported to you. In closing this statement, General, of the part taken by my brigade in the battles around Richmond, I respectfully refer to the reports of the regimental commanders for details. Where so many officers and men did their duty well, it would be difficult to particularize. But it is due to Captain Roscoe B. Heath, my able Assistant Adjutant-General, that I should acknowledge the obligation I am under to him for his valuable assistance, not only on these occasions, but throughout his service as the chief of my staff. Notwithstanding the fact that he was suffering from severe illness, he insisted on accompanying me on this march against my earnest advice, and, after passing through the battles of the twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh of June, was only induced to retire by assurance from the surgeon that further exertion would cost him his life. I beg to commend to your notice my Aid, Lieutenant Wm. Herwood, who evinced, throughout, zeal, enterprise, and daring; and to my volunteer Aids, Captains Wm. Morriss and Philip Haxall, I am indebted for valuable assistance in delivering orders in entire disregard of danger, as well as in encouraging and rallying the troops. It was in the engagement of the twenty-seventh of June, at Cold Harbor, that Captain Morriss was severely, and I fear dangerously, wounded by a musket ball, breaking his thigh bone. My brigade Commissary, Major Lewis Ginter, and Quartermaster, Major R. T. Taylor, more than justified my favorable estimate of their qualifications. I have not referred more particularly to the two field batteries, attached to my brigade, commanded by those accomplished officers, Captains McIntosh and Greenlee Davidson, because they were under your immediate command. Nor should I omit to express my unmeasured approbation of the fidelity of the surgeons of this brigade in the performance of their onerous and responsible labors. The chief surgeon and his assistants, I know by personal observation, devoted their skill and sleepless energies to the alleviation of the suffering of our brave men. The infirmary corps system, too, I regard as wisely conceived, and was, as far as my observation extended, faithfully executed by the several details. I have the honor to be, General, Your obedient servant,
Joseph R. Anderson, Brigadier-General commanding.
Report of Brigadier-General field.
headquarters First brigade, Light Division, July 20, 1862.Major: I have the honor to report that, on the twenty-sixth ult., I was directed to cross from my camp, at Meadow Bridge, to the north side of the Chickahominy, as soon as General Branch's brigade, which was to cross higher up the stream, should appear opposite to me. It was designed that this movement should take place early on the twenty-sixth. Certain causes having delayed its execution, it was three o'clock P. M. on the twenty-sixth, when Major-General A. P. Hill, commanding the division, directed me to wait no longer, but to cross and attack the enemy at Mechanicsville. The enemy made no opposition to my passage of the Chickahominy, but posting skirmishers in a thick wood about a mile beyond, fired on the advance, wounding one man, and himself losing one captured. From this point to Mechanicsville, the road was open; but as I approached that place, a heavy fire from several batteries on my left and front, and from sharpshooters, all behind intrenchments, was opened. Forming my brigade in line of battle, the Fifty-fifth and Sixtieth Virginia on the right of the road, and the Fortieth and Forty-seventh Virginia and Second Virginia battalion on the left, and Pegram's battery in the centre, we steadily, and in perfect line, advanced upon the enemy, the infantry and artillery occasionally halting for a moment to deliver fire. Gaining the cross-roads, where it was known batteries had been posted, and were supposed still to be, it was found to be unoccupied — meanwhile
Major R. C. Morgan, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major R. C. Morgan, Assistant Adjutant-General: