‘Boots and saddles!’
we are off somewhere.
No, not immediately; we remain in line expectant; the contiguous infantry with arms stacked are similarly waiting.
Hark! there is firing across the river.
It seemed to be in the neighborhood of the camp we occupied in May, at Gaines' Farm
. 'T is past noon; we are still waiting at one o'clock. There is a rumor that heavy guns, wagons, and teams, have been crossing to this side of the river during the night and moving toward Savage's Station.
That looks like a movement towards the James
Two o'clock: there is a stir among the infantry; there's a messenger,—an orderly,— no, an aid, going to headquarters.
Soon comes the order, ‘Drivers, mount,’ and we move out toward the river, whither already some of the infantry of Bartlett
's brigade were moving, whither more infantry and artillery of the division were following.
Now the firing is louder and more rapid as we approach.
This route seems the same by which we came to the camp which we have just left.
The roads show that heavy teams have lately passed over them.
The firing seems to be continuous along a curve from Gaines' Mill
, on the left as we are facing, far on to the right, toward Cold Harbor.
It must have been past three when the infantry and artillery of our division reached the field upon the other side.
The Federal line, with its left upon Gaines' Mill
stream, was evidently severely pressed.
If only Porter
's corps up to this moment was on this side, he must have been contending against fearful odds.
The entire second line and reserves are engaged.
They have evidently been moved forward to repel the continued assaults along the line.
Some of the infantry and a battery of our division which have just arrived are pushed directly forward.
There go a regiment and a battery to the left toward Gaines' Mill
One would get the impression that Slocum
's division was being divided and sent hither and thither to points where the need of support was extreme.
Now, midst the din and confusion, the screaming of shot and shell, the shrieking of minie balls, Bartlett
's brigade and the First Massachusetts Battery were sent to the right, where Sykes
' division and Griffin
's brigade for more than an hour had firmly held their ground against repeated stubborn attacks.
Never was a reinforcement more welcome.
Speedily we moved up and onward to the right, where, forming the right section of an