Our regiment was opposed to the famous Hampton Legion of South Carolina. They fought well, and rallied in the open field just at the last, and we drove them there at the point of the bayonet, which was no doubt the last charge of the day. General Pettigru was found on this field. So you see we have done our part.As to his own feelings during the battle, he says:—
I think no man of sense would act differently in a battle from the way he before determined and expected to act. I really do not remember that I had any particular feelings to describe, except, perhaps, a sort of eagerness, and a strong desire to beat the enemy, the latter feeling one I had not before expected to have particularly . . . . I do not suppose it was at all a trying battle, but I certainly felt perfectly collected, and do not think my conduct was at all influenced by the knowledge of the danger.The Twentieth immediately after the battle was placed on picket, where it remained nearly twelve days. During these twelve days it rained almost ceaselessly, and for a part of the time the men were without blankets or tents. From this state of things Ropes draws certain conclusions.
I really suffered a good deal. I did not remove my clothes from Saturday; May 31st, till Wednesday evening, June 11th, and was soaked with water a great part of the time. . . . . So you see there are some inconveniences of campaigning not down in the books. In fact one has to get over one's old ideas of necessaries and comforts, and finds out how little is really needed for a man to live with.On the 28th of June the army began its retreat towards the James, and in the terrible scenes of the seven days battles the Twentieth Regiment took a prominent part. At Peach Orchard, Allen's Farm, Savage's Station, White Oak Swamp, Nelson's Farm, and Malvern Hill it was either actively engaged or constantly exposed. How it suffered, the lists of killed and wounded will show. At Nelson's Farm alone, seven officers and sixty-three enlisted men were killed or wounded. Half the men in Ropes's company were hit, and two of his sergeants were instantly killed. His hopeful temper and unconquerable spirit never, perhaps, showed to greater advantage than after these reverses. The