previous next

[387] burying the dead and attending the wounded. My loss in this action was forty-nine killed and two hundred and seventy-one wounded, making the total loss in the two battles five hundred and forty-two, besides Corporal Trezevant, of the Hampton Legion, in command of my couriers, killed, and James L. Crittenden, volunteer Aid, wounded. All the field officers of the Nineteenth Georgia, First and Seventh Tennessee regiments, and the two senior captains successively in command of the Fifth Alabama battalion, were killed or wounded. I regret that the short period of my service with the brigade, and want of personal acquaintance with the officers and soldiers, render it impossible for me to name many whose distinguished gallantry I noticed on the field. I have, therefore, to refer you to the accompanying reports of the regimental commanders. I should not, however, fail to remember the intrepidity of Lieutenant-Colonel Shackleford, who was killed while most gallantly discharging his duty, and of J. W. Williams, Sergeant-Major of the Nineteenth Georgia. Mr. George Lemon, my volunteer Aid and acting Adjutant, and James L. Crittenden, volunteer Aid, rendered throughout the most gallant and efficient service, both the regular officers of my staff being absent, sick. The couriers of the cavalry of Hampton's Legion, attached to my staff, rendered fearless and valuable service. Captain Carter Braxton, with his Fredericksburg battery, seconded by Lieutenant Marye, rendered efficient service in both actions, and displayed remarkable skill and gallantry.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. B. Archer, Brigadier-General commanding.


Report of Brigadier-General Branch.

headquarters Fourth brigade, Light division.
Major R. C. Morgan, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Major: On Tuesday, twenty-fourth of June, I received orders from General Lee to take a position on the Chickahominy, near Half Sink, on Wednesday evening, and to cross the river, and take the road to Mechanicsville, as soon as I should be informed by General Jackson that he had crossed the Central Railroad. In my written orders it was stated that General Jackson would cross the railroad at three o'clock, Thursday morning; and allowing one hour for the transmission of the message, I was under arms, and prepared to cross at four o'clock A. M. of Thursday. Not having received any intelligence from General Jackson, and General Lee's written orders to me being explicit, there was no danger of my making a false movement; but, after eight o'clock in the morning, I received from you an order, in these words: “Wait for Jackson's notification before you move, unless I send other orders.” Up to this time my brigade was in the open fields near the banks of the stream, and in full view of the enemy's pickets on the other side. To deceive them as to my purpose, I now marched it back half a mile, in the direction of my camp, at Brooke Church, and masked it in the woods. At a few minutes after ten o'clock A. M., I received from General Jackson a note, informing me that the head of his column was, at the moment of his writing, “crossing the Central Railroad.” In less than ten minutes my colunm, which had been resting on its arms for six hours, was in motion, and soon reached the north bank of the Chickahominy. Placing the Seventh North Carolina regiment (Colonel R. P. Campbell) at the head of the column, with a section of Captain Marmaduke Johnson's battery, and throwing forward the picked companies of that regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Haywood, as skirmishers, I turned sharply to the right, and directed my course down the river. The enemy's pickets retired before us, and offered no resistance until we approached Atlee's Station, on the Central Railroad. At that place a stand was made, but they were forced to flee precipitately, leaving behind a cavalry guidon, which fell into the hands of the Seventh regiment, and much personal baggage. Thence onward they resisted our advance at every favorable point, but with no other effect than to retard, without checking, my march. Near Crenshaw's, the road on which the column commanded by Major-General Ewell was advancing, and that on which I was advancing, approach within one fourth of a mile of each other. The heads of our columns reached this point simultaneously; and, after a short personal interview between General Ewell and myself, we proceeded on our respective routes. After dislodging the enemy from several ambuscades, with only a small loss to my command, I reached the Meadow Bridge road, where I learned from stragglers that Major-General Hill had crossed the Chickahominy, without opposition, with the remainder of the division, and gone on toward Mechanicsville, then distant about one and a half miles. A courier from the General soon assured me of the correctness of the information, and, drawing in my skirmishers, I made all haste to join him at Mechanicsville. My brigade reached the field about an hour before sunset, and halting it, I rode forward over the field, to report to the General for orders. I did not find him; but simultaneously with my return he rode up, and after a short time ordered me to proceed, with a guide, to the part of the field occupied by the remainder of his division. Marching my brigade over a broad extent of cleared ground, swept by the artillery of the enemy, I reached the designated point at dusk, and having no time, nor sufficient light, to reconnoitre the ground, I placed my command in a field, to support a battery on my left, which seemed to be doing good service, and to be much exposed. There we slept in line of battle.

Early Friday morning, the enemy opened a heavy fire of artillery, and long-range musketry, on my line, from their redoubts and rifle pits; but as they attempted no advance, my men were ordered to lie upon the ground, and the injury inflicted was small. About eight o'clock, by order of General Lee, I occupied a piece of ground in front of Brigadier-General Archer, but finding myself strong enough to hold both, did not abandon my former position. About nine o'clock, I


Creative Commons License
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.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 24th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: