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[493] upon them as they delivered their fire; some of the men having it hand to hand, clubbing their rifles, and then despatching four or five with the bayonet — many taking dead aim through the forks of trees. While this successful movement was going on, the left wing of my regiment was about being outflanked by about five hundred New York Zouaves, who came down upon my left in a desperate charge. I looked for my support, but could not see any, and then to the left of the field for the other two regiments, but could not see either of them ; and thus I was left alone, contending against seven regiments. At this time Lieutenant Higgins gathered around him some thirty riflemen, who poured into the ranks of the Zouaves such a deadly fire as to bring their left to a stand-still. During this halt of the Zouaves, I ordered my regiment to fall back (after having driven the enemy to their camp) to the edge of the wood, where we entered, and, then filing to the right, conducted them in safety down a road, where I formed the remnant under cover of the hill in front of the Zouaves. Just as I was forming, a North Carolina regiment came up, and assisted us in giving a complete cheek to any farther movement of the enemy in this quarter. Thus ended one of the most desperate charges I ever before witnessed; and I feel thankful to a kind Providence that so many of us escaped, to witness the most complete triumph of our arms in the hardest contested battle before Richmond, and the one which decided the fate of the Yankee army. That night the regiment, in connection with Colonel Hamilton's and a portion of the Thirteenth South Carolina volunteers, under command of Major Farrow, slept upon the battle-field.

On Saturday morning, I called for a report of the different companies of my regiment, of the killed, wounded, and missing, and found from their reports that my worst fears were realized, as to the destruction of my regiment. In that charge we had sustained a loss of seventy-six killed, two hundred and twenty-one wounded, and fifty-eight missing; and I had only one hundred and forty-nine officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates for duty. Early that morning I made a detail from each company to bury their dead; and so severe was the work of death in some of the companies, that it took the detail all day to bury their dead. This sad duty performed, we were permitted again to sleep that night on the battle-field.

Early Sunday morning, the brigade was put under marching orders, and about nine o'clock A. M., we took up the line of march for the south side of the Chickahominy, via New Bridge. After marching until nine o'clock that night, we bivouacked about twelve miles below Richmond, on the Darbytown road, close upon the rear of the enemy, who, we learned, had been driven that day and the day previous from his strong fortifications in front of Richmond.

On Monday, the thirtieth, we took up the line of march, and pushed down the Darbytown road until we came upon the enemy, strongly intrenched behind breastworks. The brigades of our division that were in front of the Second brigade were soon engaged with the enemy, and our brigade was permitted to rest for a few moments, preparatory to any emergency that might occur. More troops were called for by General Hill, and the Second brigade was rapidly advanced to the field of action. When near the position of the enemy, two regiments (Colonels Edwards and McGowan) were advanced to the right, to engage the enemy, and the other three regiments (Colonels Hamilton, Barnes, and my own) were advanced to the left, to engage the enemy, if they presented themselves. Here we were exposed to a heavy fire from the enemy, not being able to return a single shot, on account of our friends--General Longstreet's division being in front. Here I had nine wounded, without the least chance of inflicting any damage upon the enemy; but we had the consolation of hearing the shouts of triumph from our friends in front, and the rout of our enemies. We slept upon the battle-field that night. The next morning we were marched back to the brigade camping ground that we had occupied the day before, for the purpose of having rations issued to the troops. Here we rested, as a reserve to the forces that were engaged in the Tuesday's battle. About six o'clock in the evening, the Second brigade, in connection with the other brigades of the division, was put in motion, to render any assistance that might be needed by our friends in the desperate battle that was then raging. We formed in line of battle in rear of our advancing column, ready to strike a blow when most needed. Here we were again exposed to a heavy fire of shot and shell for an hour, but, fortunately, no one of my regiment was injured.

Thus ended the series of hard-fought battles before Richmond, resulting in the complete triumph of the Confederate arms, and the repulse of the Grand Army of the Potomac, under the self-styled “Young Napoleon,” who had been forced to seek protection under cover of their gunboats, thirty miles down the James River.

It affords me pleasure to bear record to the gallant and officer-like conduct in which my field officers (Lieutenant-Colonel Leadbetter and Major J. W. Livingston) bore themselves throughout the day, and especially in the charge. Major Livingston received a severe wound on the left side while making the charge.

I am proud to record the gallant manner in which Captain James M. Perrin, as commander of the skirmishers, acquitted himself. He deserves great credit for the coolness and bravery he displayed on that occasion. Also, Captain J. J. Norton, his junior, in command of the skirmishers, who was wounded in the left arm while gallantly leading his company.

The handsome manner in which Captains Miller and Miles M. Norton supported the advance companies entitles them to great praise. Captain Miller was wounded in the right side, while gallantly leading his company, which had thirteen killed on the field. Captain Miles M. Norton,


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