Bookter, and company G, Captain Garvin. In the performance of this duty, company F and company 1) had each two men wounded. About five o'clock P. M., as near as I can guess, the Twelfth and First regiments were formed in line — the Twelfth having only eight companies, the two sent in advance to watch the movements of the enemy not having been called in. My understanding of the order was, that we were to make the attack on the enemy. The General himself giving the order to march, we moved off up the hill, through the pines, and, on reaching the open field above the Twelfth regiment, continued the march across this field toward a branch or hollow, two or three hundred yards in front of us, where the enemy were known to be. We did not advance, however, more than one hundred yards, before a battery (the position of which I was not before aware of) situated in a piece of woods about three or four hundred yards to my right, poured a heavy fire of shell and grape-shot upon us, wounding and stunning five or six men in the first volley. I now discovered that the first regiment had halted at the edge of the pine thicket, and saw at once that to attempt to reach the hollow under this fire, and then encounter the enemy there, or to change front and march alone against the battery, would be to sacrifice the regiment, with little or no damage to the enemy. This being the situation of the regiment, I immediately marched, by the left flank, down the hill to the branch, turned, and marched up the branch, through a dense thicket, and under a heavy fire of shell and shot, until I got opposite the pine thicket through which I had gone before entering the open field. We were now out of range of the artillery, and here I formed the regiment in line as soon as I could, being joined by the two companies who were out reconnoitring the movements of the enemy, when we commenced the advance. The regiment was now marched in line through the pines up to the edge of the open field, and took position on the left of the first regiment. Scarcely had we got into position before a greatly superior force appeared in front of us, and an engagement immediately ensued, being commenced by us. We held our position obstinately for a time, but in consequence of overwhelming numbers, we were driven back a short distance, suffering seriously in killed and wounded. Although our numbers were much reduced, and our line somewhat broken, the greater portion of the command was soon rallied, and recovered our former position at the edge of the open ground. Again we poured a vigorous fire into the enemy, and maintained our position for some time; but owing to the great disparity of numbers, we were again forced back, sustaining a heavy loss in officers and men. The entire command by this time was well nigh exhausted and greatly reduced. I myself, from exhaustion and from a wound which I received in the thigh, causing considerable pain, was unable to take further command. I am not able, of my own knowledge, to say what part any portion of the command took in the fight after this time; yet, from reliable information, I am fully convinced that some did fall in with other commands, and continued the fight after this time. Captain Bookter, with Lieutenant Talley, and others of his company, joined an Alabama regiment, commanded by Canty, and while with this regiment, Captain Bookter and several of his men were wounded. The conduct of the command, as a whole, was gallant and commendable. We had, when we left Mechanicsville, about four hundred and thirty muskets, including many who were indisposed. Taking from this number those who tired out during the march of the day, I am sure that we did not carry more than four hundred, if that, into the fight. The casualties, a list of which accompanies this report, are, seventeen killed, and one hundred and forty-eight killed and wounded. Among the killed was First Lieutenant J. W. Delany, commanding company B. He was killed in the first conflict, at the edge of the pine thicket. By his death the regiment, the State, and the Confederacy, have been deprived of an officer of intelligence and great gallantry. Among the wounded are some of our most valuable officers, to wit: Captain Vonlandigham, McMeekin, Bookter, and Miller. Captains Vonlandigham and McMeekin were wounded at the last stand we made at the edge of the pine thicket. I am not informed as to the place Captain Miller was wounded, he having been absent ever since. Captain Bookter, as before stated, was wounded after joining an Alabama regiment, late in the evening. It is gratifying to know that the wounds of Captains Bookter, McMeekin and Miller are such as to render the loss of their services only temporary; but even this will be seriously felt by the regiment. The wound of Captain Vonlandigham was such as to require the amputation of the left leg. His loss will be seriously felt in the regiment, and to his company it will be irreparable. Passing by all the details of the pursuit, I come now to the fight of Monday evening, thirtieth June. About five o'clock P. M. we arrived in the vicinity of the enemy; halted and stacked arms in a piece of wood to the right of the road. The fight soon commenced in front of us, and about half past 6 o'clock, the regiments of the brigade were formed in line and marched by the right flank above one mile and a quarter, to a point near where the fight was progressing. On arriving at this point we were halted, and the regiments were formed in column of companies, the Twelfth being third in order. About sundown, the Twelfth was ordered to form line to the front. This being done, we were ordered to march through the thicket and take position in rear as a support to the Fourteenth, which had been previously sent into the fight. I marched a short distance through the thicket, and came upon the First regiment, lying down. Halting, therefore, a few seconds, to make some inquiry about the position of the Fourteenth, I gave the command, “left face,” marched around the left of the First regiment, then marched to the front and took position
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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