We reached the first line of works before Petersburg
, and relieved a division of colored troops commanded by our old colonel, now General Hincks
, who had been fighting all day. This was a great day for some of us. It had been said that the negro would not fight, but here we found them dead on the field side by side with the rebels they had killed.
The stock of the negro as a soldier was high in the market.
With no time for rations we went into line and waited until nearly morning, when the detail brought us our hard tack and pork.
Hard fighting every day since the Battle of the Wilderness
had reduced our officers to major, adjutant and four line officers, with the addition of First Sergeant Osborne
of Company B, who had been promoted on the march.
Our men had been reduced to one hundred and forty, including the recruits who had joined us at Cold Harbor.
The morning of June 22 we were ordered to advance through a thicket to the edge of an open field.
We found the enemy in force, several batteries being so posted that they could protect the field, while the infantry was well cared for behind works.
We threw up slight works and both sides were active all day. Our regiment was so small that we were in single rank and the formation was two companies instead of ten, Captain Hume
commanding the right and I the left wing.
At noon the officers withdrew a little to the rear for dinner, and in conversation Major Dunn
said, “I fell asleep a little while ago, and had a queer dream.
We were lying just as we are here, and the rebels came in our rear and captured the entire regiment.”
We laughed at his story, said we guessed we should not go to Richmond
that way, and returned to our places in line.
The firing in our front