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[219] and on approaching Westover on the James, we formed the left of Early. During the evening of the 4th, we pressed the enemy slowly back within sight of Westover Church, where we rested.

The next morning he had entrenched the hills around Westover, covered them with artillery and made an abattis half a mile deep in front of him, by felling trees.

General Lee however did not purpose to push him further, and in a day or two we all marched toward Richmond in the most oppressive heat we had ever experienced. The miasma from the swamps, and the stench of the battle field were beginning to tell on men accustomed to the pure air and cool water of the valley. We camped near Mechanicsville. Colonel Johnson thought this the auspicious moment to endeavor to recruit the regiment again. Since the Spring it had always been his intention to resign and submit his claims for a re-election, so that he might be cleared of any responsibility for the troubles. But as his re-election was a certainty with the same company officers, it would have been a farce, unless they were subjected to a re-organization also.

He had no reason to doubt but that they would be in the main re-elected, but it seemed the fairest conduct to the men.

Companies A and B had been entitled to a re-election of officers on their reorganization as re-enlisted companies, and his object had always been to equalize the condition of all the companies as far as possible.

Had he been able he would have procured the furlough and re-enlistment for all in winter quarters, where the germ of the discontent was engendered by companies A and B re-enlisting and getting furloughs. But this could not be done. The muster-rolls of companies D, E, F and G were made out for the war, signed by Lieutenant-Colonel George Deas, the mustering officer, and placed in the Adjutant-General's office. No such privilege could therefore be given them. Companies A and B were enlisted for twelve months from May 21, 1861. He explained the matter to Generals Jackson and Ewell, and procured their endorsement of his application to the Secretary of War for permission to proceed to Charlottesville, recruit the regiment and reorganize by an election of company and field officers. He had only heard, the evening of the battle of Cold Harbor, from Major Kyle, Commissary of the Maryland Line, that the communication he had sent from Staunton by Captain Murray to the Secretary of War, setting forth the complaints of the men had been handed to him, and that he had not delivered it as yet. He therefore seized this as the first moment practicable to lay that matter also before the Secretary.

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