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[8] men of brilliant prospects, and as gallant, as daring, as devoted to the cause as any officers in the Confederate servive.

Tuesday, at Malvern hill, we were marched to the field, but were held in reserve, and had no opportunity to deliver a fire. Three of my men, however, were killed by fragments of shell. My total loss has been 224 in killed and wounded — a detailed statement having already been furnished you. When it is stated that I entered.the series of battles with less than four hundred men, it will be seen that the proportion is very heavy.

That there were many stragglers from the field of battle is not to be denied. There have been stragglers from every field since the war began. As a general rule, however, it appeared to me that the men fought throughout the whole army as if each individual were, thoroughly impressed with the belief that it was necessary that we should be victorious in the field before Richmond. Amid this army of heroes, I have no reason to be dissatisfied with my regiment. Whether on a march or in the field, exposed to fatigue and privation, in the midst of danger and in the face of death, they were cheerful and obedient, prompt and daring. No order was given that they did not cheerfully and faithfully attempt to execute. Where all behaved well, it is difficult to make distinction. My field and staff did their whole duty. Still, I desire to make special mention of my Lieutenant-Colonel, Thomas J. Purdie. He was everywhere in the thickest of the fight — cool and courageous — encouraging the men and directing them in their duty. His services were invaluable. I desire also to make special mention of Captains Savage, Barry, McLaurin and Byrne. They were all conspicuous in the discharge of their duties, and all wounded on the field — the last three very seriously, Captain Byrne having lost an arm.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, &c.,

Robert H. Cowan, Colonel Commanding Eighteenth North Carolina Troops.

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