The fight at Dam no. 1
Near Bottom's Bridge, Va., May 12th, 1862.
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
Having seen several erroneous communications in the papers in regard to a battle that occurred at Dam No. 1, on the 16th of April, and believing that justice should be done all, and especially those brave officers and men who bore themselves nobly on the battlefield, I ask for the troops engaged, as a simple act or justice, that the following statement of facts (obtained from an eye-witness) be published:
On the morning of the 16th of April the 3d brigade, 1st division of the Army of the Potomac, composed of the 7th, 8th, 9th and 11th Georgia and 1st Kentucky regiments, commanded by Col. G. T. Anderson
, (11th Georgia,) was ordered to march to Dam No. 1, where it arrived about 12 M, and reported to Gen. Cobb
at Dam No. 2, about one mile distant. In a short time Gen. Cobb
detailed the 18th Georgia for a position near Dam No. 2, (which order separated it from the brigade during the balance of the days,) and ordered the other regiments into position to entrench a camp one-fourth of a mile to the rear — About the time the brigade reached this position the enemy commenced a furious fire of shell, round and rifle shot at the battery at Dam No. 1, firing so high that the woods occupied by the 31 brigade were effectually shelled.
Two men in the 7th Georgia were killed and others from the different regiments wounded more or less severely.
The brigade was then ordered to march to the camp of Col. McKinney
; 5th North Carolina); on arriving at that poll-it was discovered that Col. McKinney
had been killed and that the enemy having driven the North Carolina
troops back, had possession of our works.
ordered Col. Wilson
(7th Georgia) to retake the trenches with the bayonet which order was most gallantly executed.
With their gray-haired Colonel
loading and cheering them by words and deeds to the onset, nobly did the 7th Ga. rush to the contest and maintain the fight until night closed the scene, leaving forty of the enemy dead at the trenches.
The 8th Georgia (Col. Lamar
) was ordered to the support of the 7th at the beginning of the fight, at 15 minutes to 4 P. M. They obeyed the order and did their duty handsomely and effectually, taking their position with the precision of drill and causing the advancing enemy by their withering and deadly fire, to fall back.
Not satisfied, however, the enemy again advanced, but the men, who had won their reputation on the bloody fields of Manassas
, were still in front, and again were the enemy compelled to retreat under their murderous fire.
Four rifle companies of the 1st Kentucky regiment were ordered to the support of the battery at Dam No. 1, and prove themselves worthy of their name.
The 9th Georgia and the remainder of the 1st Kentucky regiment were held in reserve.
Though as much exposed to the enemy's fire as the men in the trenches, still no sign of faltering was visible upon a single countenance.
All seemed anxious to join their comrades in front.
As regards dam No. 2, not a gun was fired there nor did Gen. Cobb
command the troops engaged, as has been reported.
All the honor of having manœuvred his men finely and being where balls flew thickest, 18 due to Col. Anderson
may well be proud of her soldiers, who, after taking the trenches from the enemy at the point of the bayonet, held them for eighteen days and nights continuously.
When our Generals
were asked to relieve the brigade for forty-eight hours, they replied that we had taken the position and no one had a batter right to hold it.