Chapter 11: battles at Totopotomoy Creek and cold Harbor.
From the 21st to the 24th of May we were engaged in skirmishing, picket fighting, with now and then a charge.
On the morning of the 24th we crossed the North Anna River
, and about noon advanced in line, our regiment being on the left of Smith
Finding the rebels strongly intrenched on the edge of the woods, we charged across an open field and drove them out. It was one of the bravest acts of the war, but it counted for nothing.
As soon as we captured the works we sent word back that we must be reinforced or we could not hold them; but no one in the rear seemed to be in a hurry.
We could hear the rebels reorganizing their men, and knew that we should be unable to resist the charge, as we were only a skirmish line.
I lay on the works by the side of Captain Hincks
Both of us had muskets, and resolved to make the best fight possible.
The rebels came in over the works at our left, at the same time advancing in front.
We waited until the skirmish line came so near that we could get a good shot.
said, “What is it, Jack
I said, “Legs.”
We covered our man, fired and fell back.
The rebels came on in force; we retreated until we came to a brook, and standing in the water used the bank for a breast-work, and held them until re-enforcements came up. A more angry set of men than we were never wore Union blue.