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[419] being satisfied that we had friends in front, and not knowing the exact position, I prohibited it for fear of doing more damage to our own troops than to the enemy. I gave permission afterward, just before dark, to turn the guns upon the foe, which was done, and a continuous fire kept up until about half past 8 P. M., when night closed the conflict.

Among those whose names deserve special mention for courage and daring, I find commended by their commanders:

Adjutant R. McCullock, Lieutenant company B, Eighteenth regiment Virginia volunteers; Ex-Lieutenant Richard Ferguson, volunteer, same command.

Privates John Lightner, company B,----Bowyer, company F, N. W. Herndon, company F, William Campbell, company F, Nineteenth regiment Virginia volunteers.

Lieutenant J. W. Jones, company B, Fifty-sixth regiment Virginia volunteers.

Private Royall Lockett, company G, Fifty-sixth regiment Virginia volunteers.

I would also bring to your notice the name of Captain Charles Pickett, Assistant Adjutant-General, who acted with the most conspicuous gallantry, carrying a flag by my side at the head of the brigade, on foot, (having lost his horse,) and urging forward — all the time forward — until shot down, seriously wounded, and then begging those who went to bear him off the field, to leave him and go to the front, if they could not carry him off conveniently, but to leave him his flag, which he still held, and let him die there under its folds. Lieutenant Symonton, volunteer Aid, also acted with a bravery and coolness seldom equalled. His horse was shot down early in the action, but still he exposed himself to every danger, rallying retreating troops, stragglers, &c., and in every way rendering the most efficient service.

The brigade carried into action seven hundred and twenty-three muskets, and of this small number the loss was two hundred and twenty-eight, including four officers killed and thirteen wounded, as by the accompanying table showing the loss of each regiment.

I would respectfully suggest that more definite instructions be given to Aids in regard to the delivery of orders, so as to insure their reception through the proper authorities. A failure to observe this rule often creates much confusion.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

John B. Strange, Colonel, commanding.


General Wilcox's reports.

headquarters Fourth brigade, Longstreet's division, July 13, 1862.
Major G. M. Sorrell, A. A. General:
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part borne by my brigade in the battle of Friday, the twenty-seventh ultimo:

Early in the morning of the twenty-sixth ultimo, the brigade, in common with the other brigades of the division, moved from camp on the Charles City road across to the Mechanicsville turnpike. Here the division was halted, and remained until nearly dark. While resting on this road, and between the hours of two and three P. M., artillery was heard in the direction of Mechanicsville. This fire continued with more or less vivacity till nearly dark, during much of which time musketry was also heard.

Near dark, the division moved down the turnpike, crossed the Chickahominy, and bivouacked for the night at and near Mechanicsville, the enemy having been driven from the immediate vicinity of this place. At dawn of day, the following morning, (Friday,) the enemy opened fire with their artillery, and continued, for more than an hour, throwing shot and shell into our camp, without, however, causing serious inconvenience, or inflicting any loss.

At sunrise, I was ordered, by the Major-General commanding, to move, with my brigade, across an open field, down the Chickahominy, to the support of Generals Pryor and Featherston, distant about a half or three quarters of a mile, and engaged at the time in a brisk skirmish with the enemy. Arriving at the position occupied by the brigades of Pryor and Featherston, I found them on the crest of a ridge, in a pine woods; in front of them a ravine, through which ran a small stream, in a direction nearly parallel with the Mechanicsville turnpike. This stream was reported as impracticable for infantry. The enemy were seen in rifle pits, and behind trees on the crest of hills that rose rather abruptly from the far side of this stream, and were at the time delivering a well-directed and brisk fire upon our troops. Halting my brigade in rear of Pryor and Featherston, I directed a company of the Eighth Alabama to be deployed as skirmishers into the woods skirting the Chickahominy, to the right, and the Tenth Alabama was moved to the front and to the right of the positions of Pryor and Featherston, and formed in the woods on the bank of the little stream above referred to. Neither the skirmishers nor the Tenth Alabama met any of the enemy. A battery of artillery was now ordered into position, on the ridge where the two advanced brigades were then under fire of the enemy's sharpshooters. This battery opened a fire of shot and shell upon the enemy. The Thomas artillery, Captain Anderson, of my brigade, was also placed in battery, and commenced a fire of shot and shell upon the enemy's infantry, who were soon dispersed. The Thomas artillery fired of shot and shell one hundred and fifty rounds, losing one man killed by the enemy's sharpshooters, while gallantly doing his duty--Corporal Bartlett, a brave soldier.

At this time, orders were received, from the Major-General commanding, for the three brigades to advance down the Chickahominy. The stream in front being impracticable for artillery, it became necessary to construct a bridge. The sleepers of an old bridge that had been destroyed by the enemy were found near the stream, and plank from abandoned bivouacs of the enemy a short distance in rear; axes, spades, and nails were furnished by one of the batteries, and a detail from the Eighth Alabama, and in less than thirty minutes


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