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[485] in the road immediately opposite. I joined the command, and from that point we marched to Mechanicsville, and reached that place under a most terrific fire of shot and shell.

About twelve o'clock P. M., the firing ceased, and we were ordered to lie in our position upon our arms. At three o'clock A. M. of the twenty-seventh, we were ordered to be ready to march at a moment's warning, but did not take up the line of march until twelve o'clock, and then moved in the direction of Gaines's Mills down the Chickahominy. We reached that point at four o'clock P. M., and finding heavy fighting going on, were ordered immediately into the engagement; and, remaining in the fight until dark, (by which time the enemy had been driven back a distance of two miles,) I then reported to you with my command, at the road, and was ordered to bivouac my men, and give them rest. This was a hard-fought battle, and the men deserve great praise for their coolness and firmness on this occasion.

On the twenty-eighth we remained quiet all day. The enemy having been driven across the Chickahominy, we were ordered to prepare two days rations, and be ready to march at daylight.

On the twenty-ninth we recrossed the river, and moved down James River — marching a distance of twelve or fifteen miles and encamping.

On the thirtieth we again marched down the river in order to make an attack, and reached the point about three o'clock. The presence of the enemy was soon made known by the roaring of artillery, and we were immediately ordered up the road, in the direction of the enemy, by a flank movement, under a very great fire of shot and shell. Soon, you, at the head of your brigade, filed to the right, and, moving six hundred yards in that direction, halted, faced to the front, formed a line of battle, and moved slowly through a skirt of woods until you reached an open field. You then halted, formed a perfect line of battle, and charged by the double-quick, and with a yell, the enemy's batteries, which were strongly supported by infantry across this field, a distance of five hundred yards. We at the same time were enfiladed by grape-shot; but neither fire upon the front or flank at all stopped the men, but on they pressed, and soon silenced the fire upon them. They seemed not to heed the falling of friends by their side, but had the great duty of defeating the enemy foremost in their minds. Here my loss was heavy — not so much in killed as in wounded.

My men, in this charge, had no cover at all. I cannot refrain from asking that great praise may be given to both officers and men for their actions on this occasion.

After passing through the field, and entering the woods on the opposite side, my regiment became divided by the interference of a Brigadier-General, unknown to me, who had ordered the left of my regiment to march to the left. I remained with a portion of my men on the field until dark, and reported to you in an old field, at which place you were encamped.

On the first of July we were quiet until six o'clock in the evening, at which time we were ordered in to support D. H. Hill's division. In this fight I was not engaged, but was under a heavy fire of shot and shell.

On the second and third of July we were marching after the enemy; but their retreat was too speedy to be overtaken. We then bivouacked for several days, inviting the enemy to battle, which was not accepted. We then marched to this point, arriving here on the ninth instant.

My loss was very heavy for a small command. The report of casualties has been sent in, as well as that of the action of officers and men, which need correction.

I am happy to say that, with few exceptions, I am truly proud of the officers and men of my command. I cannot well make distinction among those officers and men who so nobly did their duty, but ask that credit may be given those to whom it is due, and action taken against those who deserve it.

Casualties: Killed, eight; wounded, fifty-two; missing, fifteen; total, seventy-five.

Very respectfully,

R. L. Hoke, Colonel, commanding.


Report of Colonel Hamilton.

headquarters First regiment South Carolina volunteers, camp on New Market road, July 14, 1862.
Brigadier-General Maxcy Gregg, commanding Second Brigade, Light Division:
In obedience to orders, I desire to report as to the part taken by my regiment in the recent battles of the twenty-seventh and thirtieth June, and the first of July, 1862.

On Thursday afternoon, the twenty-sixth June, I put my regiment in march, to cross the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge. Nothing of importance occurred until my regiment (leading the brigade) reached a position, commanded by the battery of the enemy, near Mechanicsville turn-pike, when a pretty sharp fire of shot and shell was opened upon my regiment. By compelling my men to lie down behind the crest of the hill, I escaped, with the wounding of only two men, (company F.)

On Friday morning, my regiment, and that of Colonel Barnes, leading the other regiments of the brigade, commenced the advance upon the lines of the enemy. We crossed Beaver Dam only being slightly annoyed by the skirmishers of the enemy. On reaching one of the camps of the enemy shortly before vacated, I was astonished to find myself under fire from field artillery. It, however, proved to be a section of artillery belonging to the army of General Jackson. The mistake was soon discovered; but, unfortunately, not in time to prevent the wounding of Lieutenant Heice, company C, and one private of the same company. After a short delay, I was ordered to advance upon Powhite Creek, throwing out skirmishers in advance. This was done, and for some little time a brisk fire was kept up on both sides; but the


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