Further Recollections of second Cold Harbor.
By Joseph V. Bidgood, Late Adjutant Thirty-Second Virginia Infantry.
In a recent article Colonel E. M. Morrison
, of Smithfield, Va.
, who commanded the Fifteenth Virginia Regiment of Infantry at Second Cold Harbor fights, wrote of Captain Campbell Lawson
, who was wounded there.
I remember very well the incident mentioned, and desire to add something that Colonel Morrison
But before stating it I wish to tell what caused the pressure on our lines that day.
I had, a first cousin, John Langhorne
, a gallant fellow.
No doubt many of the Richmond
men remember him. He was just on the right of our line with two guns of his battery.
The enemy had been worrying us a good deal with their artillery, and Lieutenant Langhorne
made up his mind to give them some of their own medicine.
He picked out a place just at the foot of a little rise in the ground, where, rigging his guns mortar fashion, and getting the range, he commenced to drop shells in their lines and battery that made the enemy think they had started the worst kind of hornets.
had his fun, but overlooked the fact that it was a game two could play.
After standing it as long as possible, they turned loose all their guns on our lines.
We infantry boys did surely hug the ground.
, our brigadier, had been near us just before the fuss commenced.
My colonel, Montague
, Major B. P. Lee
and myself had picked out the safest place we could find, when all of a sudden the colonel said to me, ‘Bidgood
, where is General Corse
Go out, find him and ask him to come with us.’
I looked at the colonel and said to myself, ‘Does he want to get rid of his sergeant-major
The shells were coming as thick as hail, bursting and kicking up such dust as no tornado could.
However, when the colonel ordered it, and it was my duty to obey, I started to find the general, but as ‘Old Grand Dad,’ as we called him, was a wise man as well as a good general, he had doubtless selected a safe place.
I dodged the shells and took a hasty look, but nothing was to be seen, not a man, nothing but shells and dust.
I finally made my way back to the colonel, and reported the general could not be found.
looked me full in the face, smiling, said, ‘Bidgood
, this is the first time I ever saw you scared.’
I think it was the day after this the enemy commenced to press our picket line with so much vigor as to force Colonel Morrison
to send Captain Lawson
with a body of men to strengthen the line.
I saw Lawson
with his brave fellows go out, and nobly did they do their work.
The attack was resisted and repulsed, but with much loss to us. Captain Lawson
was shot, and as they brought him in our line on a stretcher, I went up to him and said: ‘I am truly sorry to see you are hurt; you made a big fight and saved the line.’
Looking me full in the face, the glow of battle still there and a smile, said: ‘Oh, I have a furlough for ninety days.’
He lost his leg, and, of course, never came back to the army.
He was one of the gamest little soldiers I ever saw. Always ready for a fight.
He had graduated from the V. M. I. in 1861, and died after the war in Maryland
, though I do not know the date of his death.
was also a graduate of the same school.
He lost the use of an arm at Sharpsburg
, I think, and for the rest of the war commanded his regiment with one arm.