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[407] of his command, retired to the rear, past my position, leaving none of our troops in front of me. A short time after the cessation of the fire, we heard, distinctly, the rumbling of wheels, indicating a movement of the enemy's artillery, and a large number of lights were seen moving about over the field, in immediate proximity to the enemy's position, which were doubtless borne by persons from the enemy's lines, in search of their wounded.

As soon as it was light next morning, an appalling spectacle was presented to our view in front. The field, for some distance from the enemy's position, was literally strewn with the dead and wounded, and arms were lying in every direction.

It was apparent that the enemy's main body, with his artillery, had retired; but a body of his cavalry, supported by infantry, was soon discovered on the field. To the right, near the top of a steep hill, leading up toward the enemy's position, we saw a body of our own troops, some distance off, lying down, which proved to be a small body under Brigadier-Generals Mahone and Wright. In the mean time, parties of our men were going to the front in search of the wounded; and after a demonstration by the enemy's cavalry, which was abandoned on the firing of a few shots by the Maryland regiment, posted in the woods some distance to my left, the parties from both armies, in search of the dead and wounded; gradually approached each other, and continued their mournful work without molestation on either side, being apparently appalled, for the moment, into a cessation from all hostile purposes, by the terrible spectacle presented to their view. About ten o'clock A. M., the last of the enemy's forces retired, and left the field of battle to our occupation.

The other regiments of the brigade, which, on the march, were in front of those who got with me on the field, not being able to find any practicable way for marching over the route designated by the guide, across the bottom mentioned, in their efforts to discover me, reached the battle-field at a different point from that at which I had arrived, and got very near to the enemy; but, as it had become very dark, and amidst the confusion it being impossible to distinguish friend from foe,, they retired, and went back that night to the position at which the brigade was first drawn up in line of battle. The separation of the brigade was caused by the impracticable character of the route over which it was marched, the confusion produced by the immense number of men retiring in disorder from the field, and the attempt of the guide over a nearer route than that taken by General Ewell and myself. The men with me did not get under a musketry fire, and were only exposed to the fire of the enemy's artillery, within the range of round shot and shell.

I was favorably impressed with the deportment of the officers and men of the brigade, so far as it came under my own observation, and was particularly struck with that of Captain James G. Rodgers, in command of the Twelfth Georgia regiment, who led the regiment through a large body of disorganized men, who were giving the most disheartening account of the state of things in front; he all the time encouraged his own men, and endeavored to induce the fugitives to fall into his ranks, and return to the battle-field.

Subjoined is a list of the killed and wounded.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. Early, Brigadier-General, commanding Brigade.

Colonel Stafford's Report.

headquarters Eighth brigade, July 30, 1862.
Captain G. Campbell Brown:
sir: In compliance with instructions from division headquarters, requiring a report of the part taken by this brigade in the late battles before Richmond, I have the honor to make the following statement of facts connected therewith:

Owing to the illness of Brigadier-General Taylor, the command of the brigade devolved upon Colonel J. G. Seymour, of the Sixth Louisiana regiment. On the afternoon of the twenty-seventh ult., (Friday,) in the charge at Cold Harbor, Colonel Seymour was shot from his horse, and died a few minutes after. I then took command of the brigade, and was ordered, by General Trimble, to form the troops in line of battle near the edge of the wood. This was done. It soon after became dark, and no other movements were made. The brigade remained on the ground that night, and the next morning (the twenty-eighth) was ordered to advance in pursuit of the enemy, who were retiring. On this and the two days following, we continued to advance steadily forward. The enemy, on arriving at Malvern Hill, there made a stand, and prepared to resist our farther advance. The brigade was first ordered to form in line of battle near the road on the left. Very soon, however, our position was changed to a wheat-field near by. This movement was also countermanded, and our position again changed to a ravine near the enemy's batteries. At dusk, an order was brought (we then being under orders of General Whiting, and supporting his division) to charge forward on the battery. This order was given by an officer unknown to myself or any of the officers of my command. Three of the regiments, the Sixth, Seventh, and Twenty-eighth Louisiana, advanced as ordered. It now being night, this order was not heard or properly understood by the Ninth Louisiana, and no advance was made by that command. This charge resulted in the loss of some valuable lives. After the charge, the brigade, being somewhat scattered, was withdrawn to a gate, and order restored. Leave was obtained of General Ewell for the men to get water at the church, and again advanced and remained at the gate, (near the ground previously occupied by them.) During the night, a portion of the brigade, however,

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