The fight near Hanover C. H. [correspondence of the Richmond Dispatch]
charge of the 23rd North Carolina
Camp of the 2 th N. C. Volunteers, Near Richmond, May 30th, 1862.The city papers have already published imperfect accounts of a battle which took place near Hanover C. H., between a portion of Branch's brigade and the Yankees, commanded, as prisoners state, by the Federal General Martindale. It is not my intention to give in detail any particulates of this battle, except so far as the 28th North Carolina volunteers participated, which regiment was isolated from all other troops, and had no assistance from the brigade except one section of Latham's artillery. On the morning of the 17th instant, General Branch ordered Col. to proceed with his regiment and a second of artillery to Tallisferro's Mill, and at 10 A. M. the regiment moved off from camp in the direction of Hanover C. H. When we had reached the point at which the mill interfered the main county road, near the residence of Dr. Kinney, Col Lane made a halt long enough to converse with some cavalry pickets with reference to the enemy's whereabouts.--We now left the main road by changing direction to the right, with the expectation of soon meeting the enemy. Arriving at the mill a halt was made, and Col. Lane proceeded to reconnoiter the woodland on the south bank of the stream. re the Colonel had decided upon a position, a picket came in reporting the enemy moving toward the main road to our left and rear. We were immediately faced about and retraced our steps. When near the residence of Dr. Kinney the enemy were discovered in a thicket a our left, between the two roads. As quick as thought our brave and gallant Colonel ordered his front guard to fire, and immediately placed his regiment in a condition to make a charge; then came the cheering command, ‘"Charge — charge them, brave boys, into the woods."’ The charge was made in a most gallant manner; the enemy was completely routed and driven like Chaffin a storm; the dead lay thick through the woods and in the wheat field through which the boys impetuously charged, and a few dead and wounded were to be seen in Dr. Kinney's yard, near his door. The estimate of killed and wounded on the Yankee side is 200, killed and we captured 75 prisoners, who were placed in charge of a squad of cavalry which was passing by in retreat. Our loss in killed and wounded is comparatively light--seven killed and twenty-five wounded. When our firing had ceased, and as we all believed a handsome victory had been obtained, we suddenly found ourselves confronting a whole brigade. Col. Lane now coolly ordered Lieut. Potis, of the artillery, to bring his pieces into position and reply to the enemy's battery, which was now shelling us heavily. Lieut. P. seen began firing into their battery and line, and as he acted bravely and deliberately, his fire must have done considerable execution. Col. Lane, with head cool and eyes open, soon discovered the enemy's design upon him — to flank him right and left. With no assistance near, and despairing of getting help, he withdrew just in time to save his regiment from destruction. The conduct of the regiment in this action was certainly very good, especially so when it is recollected that this fire was the first to which it had been exposes. Lieut-Col Lowe was exposed during the entire action. He has shown himself to be a brave man and worthy of his position. Major S. D. Lowe was also in the fight, and bravely endeavored to do his duty. Our less in missing since the fight is considerable, occasioned by the exhaustion of our men, who the over night had slept in the rain, and had been without a supply of food twenty-four hours, Major Lowe reft the field with the regiment, and was with us at Hanover Court-House, since then we cannot account for him, it is hoped he will soon return to the regiment, as many have already done. Col. Lane says he is ready to lead his regiment again against the four invaders of our sunny land. In this fight our regiment has discovered the fact, long since known by those who have fought the Yankees, that they cannot make sweeping charges against our lines; and that when we charge their lines, no matter how well supported, they cannot withstand the shock, and seek safety out of the sight of our determined soldiers. D.