Several other batteries were under fire, but not engaged, viz.: Richardson's, Reed's, and Page's — the latter belonging to Major Nelson's reserve artillery. On the twenty-ninth, the enemy vacated his works, and the division started in pursuit. At Fair Oaks Station, he fired upon our advance with artillery. He was replied to by Carlton's battery. In the evening the enemy made a stand, and quite a severe action occurred at Savage's Station. Kemper's battery was here engaged, and did good execution. The enemy's skirmishers came up to within two hundred yards of his battery, when he was compelled to withdraw some four hundred yards. At this point he was advanced upon by a regiment of the enemy, (Second Vermont,) which delivered a volley into his battery at a distance of three hundred yards. He opened upon them with canister, and being well supported by a Mississippi rifle regiment, repulsed the enemy with heavy loss. The enemy left fifty-two dead bodies in a circumference of fifty yards. Captain Kemper behaved with the utmost coolness and gallantry, as did his officers and men. Lane's battery was also under fire in this action, as also McCarthy's battery, but did not have an opportunity of engaging the enemy, as the ground, and the position of our troops, did not admit of it. In the severe action of July first, this artillery did not play a conspicuous part, though most of it was under a severe artillery fire during the entire action. The batteries engaged were McCarthy's howitzer battery, and also some of Hart's battery and the Washington artillery, of Charleston. The batteries were well served, and did good execution. One of McCarthy's pieces was struck twice. The enemy, having selected their ground, had lined their position with artillery, having some forty pieces in position. Our artillery had to be brought up in a narrow lane under a terrible fire, and as soon as they discovered a battery coming up, they concentrated their entire artillery on it. Several batteries were in succession disabled almost before getting into action. Carlton's and Kemper's batteries were in reserve — not engaged, but had several men killed. Carlton had a limber blown up by the enemy's shell. The enemy's artillery was admirably handled in the action, and is admitted to have been the most terrible artillery fire during the war. Their pieces were, in admirable position, and so arranged that they could concentrate from twenty to thirty guns on any position. In closing my report, I will testify to the general good conduct of officers and men. Major Nelson, of the artillery, was under fire several times at Garnett's farm; exhibited coolness and gallantry. Lieutenant Paul Hamilton, my Adjutant, was in every action — at Garnett's farm, at Fair Oaks, Savage's Station, and Crew's farm, and on every occasion exhibited conspicuous coolness and gallantry. In one of the actions, (at Garnett's farm,) he had his horse shot under him. Having been placed on duty with the cavalry immediately after the action of Crew's farm, it has been impossible for me to obtain the necessary facts to make this report complete. Respectfully submitted.
Report of Colonel Cowan.
headquarters Eighteenth regiment North Carolina troops, near Richmond, Virginia, July, 1862.General: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment, under my command, in the recent battles around Richmond: Our march across the Chickahominy, on the morning of Thursday, June twenty-sixth, and down its northern bank, to Mechanicsville, having been conducted under your personal direction, it is not necessary to refer to its incidents. We reached Mechanicsville Thursday afternoon in time to participate in the attack upon the batteries which commanded that crossing, but were not prominently engaged. Thursday night, we were ordered to defend the batteries, planted upon the position which had been taken from the enemy, from any attempt which might be made to retake them during the night. Consequently, we slept upon our arms in the immediate vicinity, with the proper picket force out on all sides; but no demonstration was made by the enemy. Friday morning, at dawn of day, he opened upon us with his artillery, and the fire was continued until his position was turned, and he was thus forced to abandon it. In all of these engagements, however, my men were but little exposed, and my loss was very slight — only three men being wounded by the explosion of a shell. Friday afternoon, at four o'clock, we were put into the fight at Cold Harbor. By your order, my line of battle was formed on the right of the road; and in this order I advanced through the dense woods in which the enemy were posted. A small ravine, deep and boggy, compelled us to flank still farther to the right. By this means, I became separated from the remainder of the brigade, (which had been formed on the left,) and, for a long time, was wholly without assistance in my attempts upon the enemy's position. Again and again was that position assailed, and again and again were we repulsed by vastly superior numbers. Regiment after regiment, sent in to the same attack, shared the same fate; and it was not until late in the afternoon, when the continuous arrival of fresh troops had given us something like an equality of forces, that any decided impression was made upon the enemy. His position was carried in that late general charge, which swept his whole army from the field in a perfect rout. In this fight I was perfectly satisfied with the conduct of my regiment. The position of the enemy was such that we were exposed to a heavy fire from the flank, as well as from the front; and, though the regiment was frequently broken and compelled to fall back, yet I did not once lose the command of it. The men re-formed with alacrity, and my commands