Camp Four Miles From Richmond
, June 7th, 1862.
To the Editors of the Dispatch:
The 4th brigade, under the gallant Pettigrew
, bore an active part in the fight of 31st.
It was a part of the left wing in the attack, Longstreets
forces being on the right.
We entered the fight with an enemy fleeing before us, and had begun to think it a matter of course that he should fly when we presented ourselves.-- So he did, too, till he reached his entrenchments, and we, hot in pursuit, felt into an ambuscade.
Which resulted disastrously.
We marched from our camp on the Meadow Bridge
Saturday morning. Wading through mud and water, we reached the field near Gen. Magruder
's present headquarters, at about two o'clock, where we rested till five.
The order "forward" was never halted by any troops with more welcome than by the 4th brigade at this time.
Never was it obeyed with more spirit and alacrity.
's brigade was ordered in advance of us. We followed as a reserve, but were made use of in the early part of the fight.
After marching half a mile the brigade was put in the wood on the right of the Nine-Mile road and ordered to sweep them.
Soon a message — then another — then another still — in quick succession, come from.
for us to hurry on at a double quick, as we were needed in front.
An a short time we reached the spot where Generals Johnston
and G. W. Smith
stood with them.
It was at this time that the Yankee
buttery stationed on the left of the road opened.
This battery was assigned to us, together with Col. Hampton
's and one other friend then came up afterwards. "It must " was Johnston
's, and order.
put one regiment (the 55th Georgia, Col. E. L. Thomas
) in the wood, skirting the battery the others in reserve.
It entered in gallant style, and was the last to retired from the battle field.
It was at first thought that this would be sufficient to take the battery; but we found that the Yankees
, although they cannot stand in the open field against even half their numbers of Southerns, yet can fight very well behind breastworks and in rifle pits.
The 24d North Carolina regiment was immediately ordered to its support, and then the 47th Virginia and 49th Georgia regiments, by Gen. Smith
's or Gen. Johnston
By this time the fire had become terrific.
A brilliant blaze was ever before the eyes of our brave men. They were being mowed down by scores.
Not an enemy could be seen, nor any sign of them but this prolonged flash, proceeding, as it were, from the ground where he was concealed.
pushed into the thicks, of the fight, cheering and encouraging the troops with his presence.
He did not know what danger was. Bravely exposing himself he fell wounded dangerously in his breast.
There never lived a more heroic, chivalrous man. A natives of North Carolina
, he graduated with the very highest distinctions at Chapel Hill
He was always marked as one who promised much.
Foreseeing the dark struggle before his country, he determined to prepare himself.
he received a thorough military education.
When these trouble began he took a prominent part in South Carolina
of the 22d North Carolina volunteers, he indeed it manifest that his military acquirements were not thrown away on him. His regiment became.
the crack regiment in Gen. Holmes
very quickly learned to appreciate him. He was repeatedly tendered a General
's commission, which he more than once modestly declined.
He was earnestly pressed and urged by Gen.
H. to accept it, and finally was prevailed upon.
Under him the "First Brigade" soon became what his old regiment was — the crack brigade in the division.
I doubt very much whether in organization and discipline it has its equal in the whole army.
But for the fall of the General
, the charge would have been a complete success, but with no leader, and in a perfect hail storm of shot and troops can be respected to hold up forever.
They stood it gallantly forever an hour, and then till back, rallying some four or five hundred yards to the fear.
The Fourth brigade, with very low exceptions, acted nobly.
It suffered more in loss of field officers than any other brigade in the battle, lasting in killed and wounded just one half of the whole number.
List of casualties in the staff of Gen. J. J. Pettigrew
, and amongst the field officers of his brigade:
Brig. Gen. J. Johnson Pettigrew
, wounded and captured.
Lieut.-Col. W. J. Green
, Vol. A. D. C., struck with a spent shell.
Capt. J. H. Hinsdale
, A. A. G., horns shot under him.
Lieut. L. G. Young
, A. D. C., struck with a spent ball.
Col. C. E. Lightfoot
, 22d N. C. V., wounded and captured.
Lieut.-Col. J. O. Long
, 22d. N. C. V., wounded and captured.
. T. S. Gallaway
, 22d. N. C. V., wounded.
, 35th Ga., reg't, killed.
.-Hon, 35th Ga., reg't, stunned by a shell.