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 the front we found the enemy's pickets, which companies G and E, Captain Nicholas and Lieutenant Lutts, immediately drove in — following them rapidly and driving in their supporting force, which skirmished obstinately. This began about 3 o'clock, and we believe were the first guns fired in the great Richmond battles. Following up our line of skirmishers, about sunset we reached a rising ground overlooking Beaver Dam creek. During our skirmish we saw heavy columns pass down a short distance to our right, understood to be General Branch, and shortly after heard musketry and artillery of the fight at Mechanicsville. The enemy in our immediate front had now got into a position from which we could not dislodge them without a severe struggle, and their interchange of fire was sharp. “What's that firing, Colonel?” said General Jackson to Colonel Johnson, as the latter rode up to General Ewell, to ask if he should drive them off. “It's the enemy's skirmishers in a thicket.” “Why don't you stop them?” “Can't do it, sir, without charging them, or shelling the place.” “Well, sir, you must stop that firing; make them keep quiet!” “Very well, sir,” said the Colonel, and riding off he brought up two pieces of the Baltimore artillery. At the first two shells the Yankees fell back and we were not disturbed until late at night, when they came down in some force, drove off Captain Edelin, who was on picket, and carried off two guns, as we afterwards found, which our skirmishers had prevented their getting off that evening. Re-inforcing Captain Edelin, he was ordered to re-occupy his post; which he did, and the night passed off — the men lying in line of battle, every now and then a ball from a Yankee picket smacking among them or whirring over their heads. The consequence was, nobody got much sleep, and at daylight when we moved again, the whole regiment as skirmishers, we were in no condition for hard work. The Thirteenth Virginia was posted on the right and we on the left, but in a short time General Ewell relieved us with the Ninth Louisiana, and we were withdrawn, with our battery as a reserve to both of them. This order was kept for some time, and we pushed on, capturing straggling prisoners, camps and hospitals. The Thirteenth Virginia in front was engaged in a continual skirmish nearly the greater part of the march. Towards noon they were withdrawn and we resumed our old position on the right, marching pretty rapidly towards Cold Harbor. At 3 oa clock we were there, and for some time waited for a movement to be made by some one else. In the corner of a field near the crossroads of Cold Harbor, were collected Generals Jackson, Ewell, A. P. Hill, Elzey, Lawton, Whiting, and others, who sat silently in their saddles,
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