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[432] lost eighty-one killed and two hundred and thirty-four wounded. Nearly all this loss occurred in the charge just described. I refer to Colonel Marshall's report for the names of many gallant officers mentioned by him, both those who fell on the field and those who passed safely through. I have to remark that, in the two leading companies deployed in open order, the loss was not so heavy in proportion as in the other companies. I have no doubt but, by drawing the fire of the enemy, those companies made the loss in the whole regiment less than it otherwise would have been. While the First rifles were thus engaged, the First and the Twelfth regiments, although relieved from the enfilading fire of the battery on the right, had a hard struggle to maintain their ground against the superior forces in their front. The Twelfth was able at one time to gain some distance in advance in the open field; but Colonel Barnes, found it necessary to withdraw it, and re-form his line on or near his original ground in the hollow. Two of the companies of this regiment at first, McMeekin's and Erwin's, afterward relieved by Booker's and company G, Lieutenant Garvin commanding, had, during the halt in the hollow, been deployed as skirmishers in advance, to watch the enemy. The two last named only resumed their places in line after the return to the hollow. At this time, in consequence of the difficulty of the ground, the right of the Twelfth got in rear of the First, and there was much danger, in such a thicket, of the First suffering from the fire of that portion of the Twelfth behind it, until Colonel Hamilton interposed and prevented it. The Twelfth advanced again, abreast with the First, and the two regiments fought bravely to maintain their ground, but suffered great loss, and were compelled to fall back in some disorder.

In the First regiment all the members of the color guard were shot down around Colonel Hamilton, who, for part of the time, bore the colors himself. Colonel Barnes, of the Twelfth, received a hurt which, although he did not leave the field, in a great measure disabled him for the rest of the day. The nature of the ground rendering it impracticable to preserve or establish regularity in the front line, I therefore ordered Colonel Edwards to hold the Thirteenth ready to receive the enemy with a steady fire, at short range, if they should descend the hill-side through the pine thicket. The Twelfth not being at the time so heavily pressed as the First, I left it to continue the struggle; the First I ordered to re-form at some distance in the rear of the Thirteenth, retiring around the left of that regiment. The Fourteenth regiment, Colonel McGowan, now arrived on the field at the moment it was so greatly needed. By General Lee's order, I had sent my Aid-de-camp, Captain Henry Hammond, across the valley of the Chickahominy, to relieve this regiment from duty on the post so long occupied by it, and to guide it to the brigade. Captain Hammond met, at the river, Captains Wood and Taggert, sent forward with their companies by Colonel McGowan, to endeavor to communicate with me. The bridge at which they met was one constructed by the enemy opposite Dr. Friend's house, and torn up and burned by the enemy the night before. Leaving his horse at the river, Captain Hammond got across on foot, and carried the order to Colonel McGowan, who at once led his men across the valley, and hastily repairing the bridge, marched on for the battle-field, under the constant fire from one of the enemy's batteries. Stopping the fire of Crenshaw's battery for a short time, to allow a passage through the guns, I ordered the Fourteenth forward. Tired as they were, by two days and three nights of outpost duty, and by a rapid march under a burning sun, they recovered strength at once, and advanced with a cheer at the double quick. Leading his regiment to the right of the Thirteenth, and across the hollow, Colonel McGowan arrived just in time to repulse the advancing enemy, and prevent him from establishing a battery on the edge of the open ground on the brow of the hill. The Fourteenth was formed along a fence, up the hill, on the other side of the hollow, and maintained its position gallantly to the end of the battle. After it had held it some time alone, other troops came up, and in concert with a North Carolina and a Georgia regiment, the Fourteenth made a charge across an open field for the purpose of taking a battery. In this charge Colonel McGowan was bruised by a grape-shot, and for a short time disabled. The distance to the battery being too great, and the fire, both direct and across, too heavy, our troops halted and lay down to shelter themselves, then retired, and the Fourteenth resumed its position near the brow of the hill, where, after the battle, it lay on its arms. Meanwhile, the Thirteenth held its position, Colonel Edwards commanding. The enemy did not venture to charge directly down the hill upon his position, but kept up a constant fire, which caused considerable loss. Colonel Edwards threw forward his right company, deployed as skirmishers, to dislodge the enemy from the pines in front and on the right, then ordered the rest of the regiment to take position a little in advance of the foot of the hill, beyond the boggy stream. From this difficulty of crossing the bog and the incessant roar of cannon and musketry, his commands not being well heard, a separation of the regiments took place. A part of the left wing effected the movement intended by Colonel Edwards, and maintained the new position until the close of the battle. The right and centre companies, supposing the order to be to move in a different direction, marched under Colonel Farrow a short distance to the rear. Desiring to form a reserve of this force and of the First regiment for further movements, I directed Major Farrow to march farther to the right and rear, and form near Colonel Hamilton. Two companies of the First, those of Captain W. T. Haskell and A. P. Butler, not having heard the order to retire, remained engaged in the front, and on the advance of the other troops, acted in concert with those nearer them, to the end of the battle. Before I made any further dispositions of the portions of the First and Thirteenth, under Colonel Hamilton and Major


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