Field's brigade, which he had withdrawn, posting them so as to form the front, while I held the right flank. I subsequently led forward one of these regiments, and ordered it to move in such a direction as to flank a force which seemed to be hotly engaging a part of our troops on the left of the road. After making these arrangements, I found that General Archer was on my right flank. This ended the fighting of my brigade in the late operations before Richmond; for, although ordered into action next evening, we did not get in, owing to the lateness of the hour, the thickness of the wood, and my ignorance of the relative position of our forces. My Aid, Lieutenant Young, had two horses shot under him in this engagement, and then took the colors of one of the regiments, leading it promptly and well to the front. Lieutenant-Colonels McElroy and Ray, the latter assisted by Major Cole, displayed their usual boldness in leading their regiments to the front. The Thirty-eighth North Carolina here, as on Thursday, behaved well. I would mention that the Thirty-fourth North Carolina, on Friday, behaved with great credit under a heavy and murderous crossfire; and here let me mention that Lieutenant Shotwell, Thirty-fourth North Carolina, cannot be spoken of too highly for his gallant conduct; for he was not satisfied to take the colors, but seized the color-bearer and rushed him to the front, thus encouraging the enemy to move forward at a very critical moment. There are numerous instances of noble conduct by numbers of my command, but space would fail to mention all, and I will leave the result of their efforts to show how most of them did. I am forced to say that we had many cases of shameful and disgraceful desertions of their colors. Here I would mention the loss, on Thursday, of a most competent and gallant officer, Major Bronaugh, of the Second Arkansas battalion; with his death ceased the battalion, so far as was concerned its usefulness on the field. My total loss in killed and wounded was about eight hundred. The brigade left camp on the evening of the twenty-fifth, with between twenty-three and twenty-four hundred, including Andrews's battery, thus showing a loss of over one third of my entire command. Andrews's battery behaved, on all occasions, with conspicuous coolness and bravery; their loss was, however, slight. The service has lost for a time, if not permanently, an invaluable and accomplished officer in Colonel Conner, Twenty-second North Carolina. Colonels Hoke and Riddick, the former wounded on Thursday, the latter on Friday, were great losses to me. In conclusion, I would mention Mr. Goldman, an independent with the Thirty-eighth North Carolina, who acted with the most conspicuous bravery and courage, also great capacity. He should be rewarded. I am, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
W. D. Pender, Brigadier-General Sixth Brigade, Light Division.
Report of Brigadier-General Archer.
headquarters Fifth brigade, Light division, July 10, 1862.Captain: I have the honor to report that, on the evening of the twenty-sixth of June, by direction of Major-General A. P. Hill, I marched my brigade, one thousand two hundred and twenty-eight strong, into Mechanicsville, and thence up the Mechanicsville turnpike, in line of battle, the left guided by the line of the turnpike — the Nineteenth Georgia, Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, on the left; the First Tennessee, Lieutenant-Colonel Shackleford, on the right; the Fifth Alabama battalion, Captain Vandegraff, and the Seventh Tennessee, Colonel Goodner, supporting. The Fourteenth Tennessee, Colonel Forbes, was separated from me during the movement, becoming involved with General Field's brigade, and did not join me until night. The brigade moved on steadily to the Beaver Dam Creek, under a heavy fire of artillery and rifles from the batteries and strongly intrenched position of the enemy on the opposite bank. Night closed in before a crossing could be effected. We remained during the night in possession of the ground we had gained, and the next morning the enemy abandoned their works. My loss in this action was forty-three killed and one hundred and seventy-one wounded. Among the former was Lieutenant-Colonel Johnson, commanding Nineteenth Georgia, who fell gallantly cheering his men in battle; and among the latter was the gallant and efficient Captain Vandegraff. On the twenty-seventh, at Cold Harbor, my brigade, reduced to less than one thousand men, advanced, alone and unsupported, across an open field, to attack the enemy, strongly posted and protected in the wood beyond by works which, a short time afterward, required seven brigades to carry. The troops under my command, except the Nineteenth Georgia, which was held in reserve, advanced at a double-quick to within twenty steps of the breastworks, when they fell back before the irresistible fire of artillery and rifles. The obvious impossibility of carrying the position without support prevented me from attempting to check the retreat. Had they not fallen back, I would myself have ordered it. A half hour later my brigade, constituting the right of the light division, again moved forward to the attack of the same position, and entered it in the front line of attack. Beyond this point my brigade, worn out, exhausted, and intermingled with the regiments and brigades of the supporting line, did not advance as an organized body. With a few of my command, however, (mostly Georgians, who, not having been engaged in the first charge, were fresher than the rest,) and some soldiers of other brigades, I continued on from a quarter to half a mile farther, under a heavy artillery fire from batteries which were taken by Hood's brigade. While under the eminence on which they were posted, I was forming for attack the few men, not more than one hundred, remaining with me. I remained on the field during the night, and the next morning was spent in