line by troops who had marched all day without food, entitles the army to the name of the “Indomitable.” It is with just pride I record the fact that not one of the regiments of the Seventh brigade came out of the action during its progress, and that the charge of the Sixteenth Mississippi and Twenty-first North Carolina, sustained from the first movement without a falter, could not be surpassed for intrepid bravery and high resolve. I need not enumerate the gallant exploits of a brigade where every officer and man behaved so well; but I cannot refrain from allusion to the conspicuous gallantry of Captain Brown, of the Sixteenth Mississippi, and Captain Guery, of Fifteenth Alabama, both shot dead in front of their companies while cheering on their men to the charge; and of my Aid, Lieutenant McKim, who rode by my side or along the line, constantly repeating, with inspiring voice and gesture, the command, “Charge charge!” Captain Hall A. Alsine did signal service during the action by bringing up and directing the movements of fresh troops, as also Lieutenant Lee, Inspector-General, who was slightly wounded. The subjoined list of killed and wounded best shows the severity of the conflict, and a comparison of those of the different regiments fairly illustrates the superiority of a rapid charge over a standing fight, not only as the best mode of securing victories, but doing it with smaller loss. The Thirteenth Alabama and Twenty-first Georgia, numbering one thousand three hundred and fifteen men, stood under a destructive fire for an hour or more, returning the enemy's volleys all the time, and advanced only half a mile with fragments of companies at the close of the day. Their loss in killed and wounded was two hundred and fifty-one men. The Sixteenth Mississippi and Twenty-first North Carolina, numbering one thousand two hundred and forty-four men, passed under as hot a fire an equal distance in fifteen minutes, losing in killed and wounded only eighty-five men. Annexed is a sketch of that part of the field of battle on which the Third brigade was engaged, but on which is put down only the positions occupied by the Seventh brigade. The Alabama and Georgia regiments advanced in a body no farther than the swamp, S, except the fragments of those companies who assisted in driving the enemy from F, and taking the battery. The Mississippi and North Carolina regiments advanced to B and F, taking the battery, and with unbroken front, in good condition to continue the fight. I have the honor to be, respectfully,
J. R. Trimble, Brigadier-General.I casually omitted to mention the name of Lieutenant Vindell, Adjutant of the Twenty-first Georgia regiment, who behaved with distinguished coolness and bravery, and did signal service in holding that regiment in its position while under the heaviest fire.
I. R. Trimble, Brigadier-General.
Operations from June 28 to July 1, inclusive.
Headquarters brigade, July 30, 1862.General: I respectfully append the following as a continuation of the operations of the Seventh brigade from June twenth-eighth to July first, inclusive: On the twenty-eighth June, the brigade rested on the field of battle, and was chiefly employed in taking care of the wounded and burial of the dead. On Sunday, twenty-ninth, orders were received to march down the Chickahominy. During the delay of starting, I halted, about nine o'clock, at a dwelling on the battle-field, and sent an officer up a tree which had been prepared by the enemy as an observatory. This officer could, with glasses, plainly see the Yankee forces moving southward from Reynoldsville, (General McClellan's headquarters.) The smoke of burning stores could also be distinctly seen. I wrote a note addressed to General Lee, or General Jackson, stating these facts, and that the Federal army were certainly retreating. General Lee answered the note, and stated that the enemy were in heavy force on the right, and that he had tried to reach them with artillery, but without effect. Meantime, four large conflagrations had become plainly visible, and infantry, artillery, and wagons were seen moving, amidst clouds of dust, in a southerly direction. I again wrote to General Lee, then two miles distant, communicating these facts, and expressed the opinion that the enemy were certainly retreating with great precipitation, as burning stores were a sure indication, and ought to be vigorously pursued. It was afterward known that General McClellan did break up the camps on Sunday morning at the place referred to, and commenced a rapid retreat. Under previous orders, we continued our march, about ten o'clock, and, after several halts, reached the York River Railroad, near Bottom's Bridge, about two o'clock, with the Third division. After marching and countermarching several times, a halt of some hours was made two miles north of the railroad. Several times in the afternoon, I had called attention to the dense cloud of dust observed on the north side of the Chickahominy; that it plainly indicated a rapid retreat of the enemy, and that our forces should be thrown across that stream to intercept their flight or increase their disorder. A practicable ford was discovered near the point where we halted, and General Ewell had decided, under the discretion allowed him, to cross and attack them at four o'clock. But orders from General Jackson, conflicting with this, prevented so important a movement. About six P. M. the division was marched back up the Chickahominy, crossed that stream in the night at New Bridge, and bivouacked at Reynoldsville, twelve hours after the enemy and General McClellan had abandoned that place. It is deeply to be regretted that, from the sure indications of rapid retreat given by the Federal
Major-General R. S. Ewell, commanding Division:
Major-General R. S. Ewell, commanding Division: