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[385] moved forward soon after crossing the run and mill-race, with great difficulty. The Thirty-fourth North Carolina, Colonel Riddick, was the first to gain the enemy's works, but they had a few moments before left under cover of their rifle pits. I should here mention that a part of Andrews's battery was engaged with the enemy before, assisting Pegram's battery. After crossing the creek, we marched down the Chickahominy, not meeting the enemy until we reached Gaines's Mill, who opposed the right brigades of the division. I here brought up two sections of Andrews's battery, under Lieutenants Dimint and Dabney, who shelled the enemy with considerable effect. We again moved forward, crossing at Gaines's Mill. Soon I was ordered by you to pass to the right and throw out skirmishers, and, if possible, to surround the enemy who were lower down the stream.

We drove them off; but they retired upon their main body. Here, again, a portion of Andrews's battery was brought into play, with the desire to draw fire from the enemy's artillery, and to show us its locality, but failed to do so. Through the misconception of an order, by Colonel Riddick, his regiment had not come up, and I found myself weak, and asked for support. General Archer was sent forward, and I was ordered to support General Branch, farther up the road. I found Colonel Riddick at the forks of the road, near Cold Harbor, and my brigade was at once ordered into action. I formed into line of battle, and moved into the wood on right of the right hand road, find only the enemy and a fragment of one of our regiments. We were soon hotly engaged, and drove the enemy slowly before us for about two hundred and fifty yards. My brigade had started in weak, and suffered heavily here; and, seeing fresh regiments of the enemy coming up constantly, I sent my Aid, Lieutenant Young, to ask for support. Two of my regiments, Tenth and Twenty-second North Carolina, had gained the crest of the open ground, getting into the enemy's camp, but finding themselves flanked, fell back, which caused those on the left, who were not so far advanced, to fall back also. About this time Colonel C. C. Lee, Thirty-eighth North Carolina, who had been sent to our support, came up. My men were rallied, and pushed forward again, but did not advance far before they fell back; and I think I do but justice to my men to say that they did not commence it. The enemy were continually bringing up fresh troops, and succeeded in driving us from the road. My men here fought nobly, and maintained their ground with great stubbornness. The left was subject to an enfilading fire from musket and cannon.

It was now nearly night; and here ended the part taken by my brigade, except so far as Lieutenant Young, my Aid, was concerned, for he, not being satisfied with fighting as long as his General, went back, and remained principally with General Ewell until the battle was closed. I would here state that Lieutenant Young acted, both on this day and the day previous, with the most heroic bravery and coolness. Words fail me in expressing my admiration of his conduct through the whole of the Chickahominy battles. I here lost Colonel Green, my volunteer Aid, which was irreparable: he was an accomplished officer, and won the highest praise for his noble conduct. He was a noble man lost on that glorious day. Lieutenant Hinsdale, my Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, was also of great service, and deserves the highest praise.

Before going farther, I must particularize a little. Lieutenant-Colonel McElroy, commanding Fifteenth, Lieutenant-Colonel Gray and Major Cole, Twenty-second, acted with great courage and judgment, leading their regiments forward promptly and with determination, not halting for a moment until they found the enemy in their rear. Colonel Riddick was here wounded, leaving his regiment without a field officer. Up to this time I had lost my volunteer Aid killed, my three Colonels wounded, also three Adjutants wounded, and Lieutenant Young slightly wounded on the side of the head. The Thirty-fourth, Colonel Riddick, lost in this short fight between twenty and thirty in killed.

Sunday, we crossed the Chickahominy, marching down the south side of the river. Meeting the enemy again on Monday morning, my brigade, after being in direct range of the enemy's shell for some time, was ordered forward, and went in rear of Kershaw's brigade; at least his men were coming out from my front as we went in. Reaching the farther side of the field on the right, at the junction of the Long Bridge and Darbytown roads, we came in contact with the enemy once more. Here, just as my brigade was getting under fire, a regiment of the enemy came down at double-quick in our front, passing from right to left, apparently not seeing us, when, in our front, about seventy-five yards off, our men fired a volley into them and scattered them in every direction. In our front was a fine battery of rifle pieces that had been abandoned, but they were apparently trying to regain it, as we had quite a skirmish near it. They continued to make efforts here to flank us. They had quite a force upon my right, which was several times pushed forward. General Field, I have since learned, was a long way in front; but the enemy were in considerable force between us, if I am to judge from the stand they made.

At this position I left a few men to hold the flank, and pushed forward the rest well into the woods, and, but for the untimely failure of ammunition, would have captured many prisoners; they were in considerable disorder, but were still too strong to be attacked with what few men I had, most of whom were without ammunition. We here soon forced a battery, which had opened upon our right, to limber up and leave; they evidently, from what I saw and from what I heard from prisoners, had a strong force within a few hundred yards of these batteries. Dark coming on, I withdrew my men to the edge of the woods, holding our ground and the batteries taken. I had but a handful of men, but succeeded in getting two other regiments I found near by General


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Riddick (5)
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