Field's Brigade Seven Days ReportsLast updated June 10th, 2007 by Jenny
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Seven Days Battle Report: Field's Brigade
No. 327. -- Report of Brig. Gen. Charles W. Field, C. S. Army, of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Frazier's Farm
HEADQUARTERS FIRST BRIGADE, LIGHT DIVISION, July 20, 1862.
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that on the 26th ultimo I was directed to cross from my camp at Meadow Bridge to the north side of the Chickahominy as soon as General Branch's brigade, which was to cross higher up the stream, should appear opposite to me.
It was designed that this movement should take place early on the 26th. Certain causes having delayed its execution, it was 3 p.m. on the 26th when Maj. Gen. A. P. Hill, commanding the division, directed me to wait no longer, but to cross and attack the enemy at Mechanicsville. The enemy made no opposition to my passage of the Chickahominy, but, posting skirmishers in a thick wood about a mile beyond, fired on the advance, wounding 1 man, and himself losing 1 captured.
From this point to Mechanicsville the road was open, but as I approached that place a heavy fire from several batteries on my left and front and from sharpshooters, all behind intrenchments, was opened. Forming my brigade in line of battle, the Fifty-fifth and Sixtieth Virginia on the right of the road and the Fortieth and Forty-seventh Virginia and Second Virginia Battalion on the left and Pegram's battery in the center, we steadily and in perfect line advanced upon the enemy, the infantry and artillery occasionally halting for a moment to deliver fire. Gaining the cross-roads, where it was known batteries had bee,, posted and were supposed still to be, it was found to be unoccupied. Meanwhile an active and vigorous fire was opened on us from the batteries situated on the north side of Beaver Dam Creek. I changed front to the left by throwing forward the right wing, and advanced to attack them, directing Captain Pegram to take position and open fire on the enemy's batteries, a part of General Archer's brigade having been ordered by General Hill to support me.
About a mile of open ground was to be gotten over, most of which was swept by three or four batteries, but the brigade in the original order gallantly moved forward, though their ranks were momentarily thinned by the most destructive cannonading I have yet known. Our only safety from this fire lay in pushing forward as rapidly as possible and getting so close to the enemy's infantry as to draw the fire upon his own troops should it be continued. He occupied a wooded hill-side overlooking Beaver Dam Creek. Gaining a dense thicket on this side, the stream only separating us, both sides opened with the musket and continued it until about 9 o'clock at night. My brigade remained upon the ground resting on their arms all night.
A desultory fire was maintained for some time next morning, but without much effect on either side.
In this, our first day's combat, and first in the lives of many of the brigade, all behaved well. My advance in line of battle was steady and continuous, and being throughout in full view of the enemy, must have given him no mean idea of the gallantry of troops who would press forward so steadily in the face of such a fire. Many a gallant fellow here fell, the officers leading and encouraging the men. Col. W. E. Starke, Sixtieth Virginia, received a painful wound in the hand. I suppose it was about, 2 o'clock on the 27th when my brigade was ordered to support that of Brig. Gen. J. R. Anderson in an attack upon what proved to be the enemy's center at Gaines' Mill. Forming line of battle in a wood to the right of the road, both brigades moved forward (mine in second line) and debouched into an open field about 200 yards from the enemy's line. Giving the command to charge, we rushed forward and opened fire within 100 yards of the enemy, which was continued until forced by an overpowering fire from greatly superior numbers to fall back for support, which was received.
I again formed and moved forward to the attack, General Archer's brigade forming on my right. Both brigades gallantly responded to the call and rushed forward, and gaining the crest of the hill were again stopped by an infantry fire that nothing could live under. The men, however, did not retire, but, falling on their faces, maintained, until support came up, a brisk and destructive fire upon the enemy. As events afterward proved, the enemy were in heavy force at this point; were admirably sheltered behind temporary obstacles, such as abatis, &c., and were safe from expulsion by any less force than that which came to my assistance late in the evening.
In this affair, from the long and determined character of the contest, my loss was heavy, Lieut. Col. H. H. Walker, Fortieth Virginia, a mast gallant and meritorious officer, being twice wounded.
It was late on the evening of the 30th when I was notified to move upon the field of battle as soon as possible. Putting the column in motion at the double-quick, we were soon upon the theater of action. Forming in line of battle, the Fifty-fifth and Sixtieth Virginia on the right of the road and the Forty-seventh Virginia and the Second Virginia Battalion on the left, the command was given to cheer heartily and charge. About 300 yards directly in our front were two of the enemy's batteries, posted in an open field and on the right and left of the road we were advancing on. I had heard that these batteries had been several times during the day taken and retaken, a constant struggle being maintained for their possession. At this time they were held by the enemy, but the horses being killed or wounded, he was unable to remove the guns. The whole line now rushed forward under heavy fire, best the enemy back from the guns into the woods beyond, and pushing him on the right of the road back half a mile. The two regiments on this side [of] the road, the Fifty-fifth and Sixtieth Virginia, were at this time in the enemy's rear, having penetrated through his center in the eagerness of pursuit, but were withdrawn before he could profit by the circumstance.
Lieutenant-Colonel Christian was wounded and Major Burke was killed, both of the Fifty-fifth Virginia.
Colonels Mallory and Starke behaved very handsomely here.
The charge was impetuously made, and was an instance where bayonets were really crossed, several of the enemy being killed with that weapon and several of the Sixtieth now being in [the] hospital bearing bayonet wounds upon their persons. It is proper to state that the Fortieth Virginia, Colonel Brockenbrough, forming my extreme left, became detached on account of the inequalities of the ground and was not under my eye. The colonel reports, however, meeting with an overwhelming force and his loss heavy. My brigade held that part of the battle-field until relieved late at night by some fresh troops, I having in the mean while sent to the rear for horses and removed all the captured guns and equipments to a place of safety.
I omitted to mention that the Forty-seventh Virginia, Colonel Mayo, after getting possession of the guns on the left of the road, manned two of them and used them against the enemy. This regiment also captured Major-General McCall, commanding the Federal forces on the field.
I desire to call the attention of the general commanding to the conspicuous gallantry of Capt. C. R. Collins, Engineer Corps. He joined me as a volunteer aide just as we were going into action, and by voice and action led and cheered the men through all the fight with unsurpassed spirit, The conduct of Captain Pegram's battery in the engagements excites my admiration. Always eager, always alert, Captain Pegram was in every action where opportunity offered, and always doing his duty, as the loss of every officer killed or wounded and 60 out of about 80 men, sadly attests. I trust that the merits of this officer will not go unrewarded by the Department. The several field officers of the brigade bore themselves, with but one exception, reported elsewhere, as became accomplished and gallant officers. The particular conduct of the subordinates is detailed in the reports herewith forwarded.
My thanks are due to my personal staff, Capt. G. F. Harrison, assistant adjutant-general, and aides, Lieuts. W. R. Mason, jr., and R. L. Robb, for zeal and intelligence throughout the week.
The entire loss of my brigade was 603 killed and wounded and 8 made prisoners. This was about half my force at any time engaged, for I am pained to state that my brigade was like all others that I met with--some officers and men either deserting the field entirely, or seeking safety by skulking behind trees, or halting outside the avenue of fire.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. W. FIELD,
Maj. R. C. MORGAN,
Regimental Reports for Field's Brigade
CAMP FORTIETH VIRGINIA REGIMENT,
July 24, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following as my report of the operations of the Fortieth Virginia Volunteers in the recent battles around Richmond:
On the afternoon of June 26 this regiment, being in the advance, was the first to cross the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridges. Advancing toward Mechanicsville we encountered the enemy's pickets at intervals and drove them before us until we reached the village. Receiving orders at this point to charge the enemy in their strong position, we advanced rapidly under a galling and murderous cross-fire of their artillery until within musket-range of them. Discovering that they occupied an intrenched position, separated from us by an almost impassable swamp and about 100 yards distant, we entered into a severe engagement, which lasted until the retreat of the enemy after night-fall.
Early next morning we were put under march to follow up the retreating foe, overhauling them near Gaines' Mill on the evening of the 27th. Here again we took part in that gallant charge which resulted in their rout and the complete success of our arms.
On Sunday, the 29th, we recrossed the Chickahominy and marched down to Frazier's farm, the scene of Monday's battle. Here, before our division was ordered into the engagement, I was directed to deploy my regiment as skirmishers on the right flank of our army, which deprived us of the privilege of entering into the engagement with the brigade. Receiving orders to follow on and engage the enemy's right, we proceeded [to] the position indicated and engaged (alone) a vastly superior force of the enemy. About night arose a loud hallooing and cheering on the enemy's left and a cessation of firing in that direction, which induced us to believe the contest had been decided. Being in doubt as to the result, we continued the engagement.
In the mean time the enemy, who had been deceived by the cheering on their left and within their lines, charged in force upon us. We poured several murderous fires into them, which checked their advance, and though within 20 feet of us, caused them to retire to their original position. Their loss at this point was much heavier than upon any other portion of the field, being at least ten to one on our side. This ended the series of battles in which the Fortieth Virginia Volunteers took part.
Both officers and men, with few exceptions, were not at all wanting in gallantry and good conduct, and for the most part behaved in the most praiseworthy manner.
We sustained a loss of 180 killed and wounded, being about one-half the effective force of the regiment.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. M. BROCKENBROUGH,
Colonel Fortieth Virginia Volunteers.
P. S.--I respectfully recommend the following promotions, viz: Orderly Sergt. T. D. Ficklin as first lieutenant, to fill vacancy occasioned by death of First Lieut. E. Brockenbrough, killed in engagement of 26th; Sergt. Maj. J. S. Leader as second lieutenant, to fill vacancy occasioned by death of Second Lieut. R. B. D. Sydnor, in engagement of 30th. Orderly-Sergeant Ficklin and Sergeant-Major Leader were both wounded in the engagement of the 27th, and while they behaved gallantly during the battles of [the] 26th and 27th, their conduct was about equal and not conspicuously above that of many others in [the] same company. I recommend them upon the petition of a majority of those over whom they will have command and from my confidence (derived from personal acquaintance) in their capacity and qualifications to discharge ably and faithfully the duties of the offices for which they are recommended.
HEADQUARTERS FORTY-SEVENTH VIRGINIA REGIMENT,
July 15, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor hereby to report the action of the Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment in the recent engagements before Richmond.
With the rest of the brigade we crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge on Thursday evening, June 26. Nothing of importance occurred until arriving near Mechanicsville; we were opened upon by the enemy's batteries, and exposed to a most galling fire until late at night without being able to return a shot.
Our casualties at this place were 10 in number, including 2 captains.
On the next morning, Friday, 27th, we marched in the direction of Cold Harbor, and again came up with the enemy at Powhite Creek in a very strong position; it also having been represented by some that it was impossible to cross the creek opposite to our position, though this proved afterward to be entirely erroneous. The brigade being ordered to advance in a double line, with the Forty-seventh in front, we approached to within musket-range and opened fire, continuing to advance at the same time. But no sooner had we commenced firing than the second line also opened fire, and finding it impossible to check them, I was obliged to make my men lie down while loading, and even then I had several men killed and wounded by my friends in the rear. Among the latter was Captain Green, a most gallant and efficient officer.
We remained upon the ground until our ammunition was expended and then retired to the edge of the wood, about 80 yards in our rear.
Our casualties at this place were 34, the number engaged being about 175 rank and file.
We did not again participate in an engagement until Monday (30th), when we were called on with the rest of the brigade to advance upon two batteries of the enemy that had been taken by General Longstreet's division, but which had been recaptured. The Forty-seventh, with the Second Virginia Battalion, were ordered to advance upon the battery on the left of the road, which they did, charging immediately in front and exposed to a raking fire of grape and canister for three-quarters of a mile. As soon as we got within short musket-range we opened fire, continuing to advance at the same time, and soon drove the cannoneers from their pieces We followed them up until we arrived at a position about 50 yards beyond their battery, when we were opened upon both on our right and left flanks by a very severe fire.
Our force in all not amounting to 300, a halt was called to await re-en-forcements, and in the mean time, at the suggestion of some one whose name I have not been able to find out, one of the enemy's guns was trained to the left, the fire from that quarter being much the hottest, and fire opened upon them. The fire from the front having nearly ceased, while that on the right and left still continued, I caused my command to be formed in the road, so as to protect the battery from either of those directions.
About this time you rode up for the second time and ordered us to cease firing the cannon, as we might injure some of our friends in advance. It was then quite dark. Shortly after we ceased firing the cannon and you had ridden off to another portion of the brigade the sounds of horses' hoofs were heard advancing from the direction of the enemy and the regiment was cautioned to be on their guard. They turned out to be four horsemen, who, riding up on our left, inquired who we were. I called out at the top of my voice "Friends," but some one on the left having unwittingly called Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment, two of the party turned back and rode off at a double-quick down the road. They were instantly fired upon, and one of them, who turned out afterward to be Major [Henry J.] Biddle, adjutant-general to General McCall, was killed. The other two were captured, and turned out to be Major-General McCall and one of his couriers. They were both immediately sent to the rear.
Nothing more of importance occurred that night, and we were not actively engaged on Tuesday, though somewhat exposed to the enemy's artillery.
The casualties in this engagement were 34, the total number engaged being 156 rank and file; making the total number of casualties in all three engagements 78.
The conduct of these who remained with their regiment was so uniformly good that I find it almost impossible to make any distinctions. I, however, make the following recommendations for promotion: Private T. V. Sanford, Company C, clerk in commissary department, to the place of second lieutenant in Company D, in which there are two vacancies; Private Schooler, Company I, color-bearer, to be made color-sergeant, and Private Mason, Company E, to be made sergeant in said company.
Very respectfully submitted.
RO. M. MAYO,
Colonel Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment.
Brig. Gen. C. W. FIELD,
Comdg. First Brig., Light Div.
HEADQUARTERS FIFTY-FIFTH VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS,
July 12, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of my regiment in the recent engagements before Richmond:
On the night of Wednesday, June 25, the regiment was on picket near the Little Meadow Bridge. About 3 p.m. Thursday, June 26, it being reported that the enemy's picket had been withdrawn, I immediately took possession of the bridge which he had held. Our brigade, being in advance, was soon ordered to cross. The Fortieth Virginia crossed first, followed by the Fifty-fifth Virginia and the other regiments composing the brigade. A mile or more beyond the swamp the regiment was formed in line of battle across the road, where the first prisoner was taken by Capt. J. F. Alexander's company. It was here that we received a few shots from the enemy's picket, who retreated in haste. Turning to the right, we marched in the direction of Mechan-icsville. About half a mile from Mechanicsville our line of battle was again formed on the right of the road, supported by the Sixtieth Virginia, Colonel Starke commanding, the Fortieth Virginia on the left, supported by the Forty-seventh Virginia Regiment and Second Virginia Battalion.
We advanced upon Mechanicsville exposed to a heavy fire from three of the enemy's batteries. After advancing a short distance beyond the village our line of battle was changed to the left, facing the batteries. We advanced some 600 yards in the direction of the right battery, when, not wishing to be separated from the remainder of the brigade, it became necessary to cross the field to the left, the left of the brigade being at this time under cover of the woods. This was done by marching obliquely across the field, approaching the battery as we >ar13_847>neared the woods, to prevent their getting our range. Before entering the woods the regiment was halted just below the brow of a slight hill, and the men ordered to lie down to protect them from the shell, grape, and canister, which were being used with great effect.
Our brigade was then ordered to advance. We moved forward a few hundred yards under a very heavy fire and entered a wood, which we attempted to charge through. But the undergrowth being very thick, and finding another brigade in front of us, our men became scattered, many of them mixing in with this brigade. I ordered a halt, but finding it impossible to form the regiment in such a place, I directed the men to fall back to the edge of the woods and reform. This was done in very good order. By this time it was quite dark, and my men being very much exhausted I fell back about 100 yards over a hill, where we rejoined the brigade and rested for the night.
In this engagement my loss was very heavy, being greater than that of both the others. Capt. William L. Brooke, Company K, was killed while gallantly leading his company and both of' his lieutenants wounded. His company was on the left of the colors and suffered more than any other. Capt. G. W. Street and Lieutenants Boughan, Ker, and Goolrick were wounded in this engagement, besides a number of men.
About 12 m. of Friday, June 27, the regiment was formed with the brigade and marched in the direction of Gaines' Mill, Lieutenant-Colonel Christian in command. After passing a short distance beyond the mill the brigade was formed in line of battle to support General Anderson's brigade, which was ordered to attack the enemy in front. We advanced to his support until we found his brigade halted in a small orchard in an open space in front of the enemy's battery. This brigade finally broke and ran through ours, throwing it into some confusion. We, however, did not retire until ordered by General Field to fall back in order. This was not very well executed, but a portion of the regiment was immediately rallied by Colonel Christian, and remained with him during the remainder of the evening, doing good service.
In this engagement Lieutenants Mann and Garnett were killed, and Lieut. A. Brockenbrough and 2 or 3 color-bearers wounded.
On Sunday, June 29, we marched from Gaines' Mill to the south side of the Chickahominy. Monday morning we marched a few miles and were halted in the woods until about 5 p.m., when we were ordered with the brigade to go to the support of General Kemper. We marched at a double-quick, when we were formed in line of battle on the right of the road, the Sixtieth Virginia on our left. We advanced through the woods until we came to the brow of the hill, where was a battery recently taken from the enemy. The brigade which had taken it had disappeared and the enemy had advanced to within a few yards of the battery. We halted, fired a few volleys, and charged, driving the enemy about I mile into the woods, where we halted to reform, and finding that the enemy were about to flank us we fell back to the edge of the woods, where we remained until the firing had ceased. The regiment was ordered to remain at this point until the captured battery could be taken off, when we marched back across the field and bivouacked for the night.
In this engagement Lieut. Col. W. S. Christian was seriously wounded; Maj. T. M. Burke and Captain Wright killed, and Lieuts. R. G. Haile and R. T. Bland and Adjt. R. L. Williams wounded. The regiment was in readiness to participate in the engagement of Tuesday, July 1, but was not actually engaged. >ar13_848>
The officers and men who remained with the regiment acted well, but many of them who had been on the sick list previously, and were just returned to duty when we started, being weak, were compelled to fall out during the march.
I beg leave to call the attention of the general commanding to the following-named officers for coolness under fire and the efficient man net in which they performed their duties:
Lieutenant-Colonel Christian, who fell severely wounded in the charge of the 30th; Adjutant Williams, Capt. R. B. Fauntleroy. Capt. A. D. Saunders, Capt. Evan Rice, Capt. G. G. Roy, Capt. J. B. Jett, Capt. E. M. Healy, Capt. C. N. Lawson, and Capt. J. F. Alexander; and Lieuts. A. Brockenbrough, L. D. Roane, A. Rennolds, W. J. Davis, R. Healy, jr., and W. A. Street; particularly Captain Fauntleroy and Lieutenants Brockenbrough and Roane.
The general's attention is also called to the following-named noncommissioned officers and privates:
Sergeant-Major Mallory, Color-Sergeant Fauntleroy, Corporal Micon, Company A; Privates Nicholson, Company C, and Costenbader, Company E.
The following are names of non-commissioned officers and privates honorably mentioned by their captains:
Company A.--Privates Ruffin Clarke, E. T. Smith, Ro. Carter, R. H. Dunn, and A. F. Allen.
Company C.--Private Thomas H. Thurston.
Company D.--Privates Archibald Brooks, G. C. Minor, Reu. L. Dyke, Gardner Shackelford, and Burrell Mitchell.
Company G.--William F. Garrett, J. W. Carter, R. S. Burch, T. J. McGeorge, A. W. Hundley, W. C. Wayne, and E. D. Munday.
Company H.--Privates A. E. Vaughan, G. W. Vaughan, N. Mason, E. Clayville, and J. H. Trader. Corporal Stiff fought through all the battles with a sick leave in his pocket. Sergeant Robinson acted well.
Company I.--William F. Cavan, James D. Yates, R. Todd, and V. H. Fauntleroy.
Company M.--Sergeants Bullock and Morris; Privates James A. Smith, R. O. Perry, McGary, Burruss, Blanton, Humphries, Johnson, Newton, Sacra, Rice, and Goolrick.
The aggregate loss is as follows: Killed, 22; wounded, 94; missing, 3.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Fifty-fifth Virginia.
Capt. G. F. HARRISON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Light Division.
HDQRS. SIXTIETH REGIMENT VIRGINIA VOLUNTEERS,
July 19, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the late battles before Richmond:
On the morning of the 26th ultimo orders were received to hold the regiment in readiness to move at a moment's notice. At 3 p.m. on that day we received the order to take up the line of march. Obeying this order, we crossed the Chickahominy at Meadow Bridge, and, in connection with the other regiments composing the brigade, drove in the enemy's pickets to within half a mile of Mechanicsville, at which point the regiment was drawn up in line of battle in rear of the Fifty-fifth Virginia, on the right of the road. Advancing steadily we forced the enemy to abandon Mechanicsville. Immediately beyond this point we encountered a severe fire from their batteries in crossing an open field in their front.
In obedience to orders the direction was changed to the left, and marching by that flank we reached the cover of the woods on that side, where we were halted. Here we were exposed for a few moments to a most galling fire from the enemy's batteries, under which fire I was wounded in the hand, and turned over the command of the regiment to Lieut. Col. B. H. Jones, to whom I am indebted for the facts connected with the report from that time until I resumed the command.
Proceeding through this wood another field was crossed and another wood again entered, where the enemy were drawn up in line of battle on the crest of a hill on the opposite side of a small branch in the ravine in front of us. Advancing through this wood, the regiment having been wheeled into line of battle, we moved down the side of the hill, took our position in rear of the forces of a brigade immediately in our front, and opened fire upon the enemy. Here for at least two hours the battle raged most violently.
Our loss here was considerable, Lieut. S. Lilly, of Company I, being killed; Capt. John L. Caynor and Lieut. P.M. Paxton, of Company F, and Lieut. S. D. Pack, of Company A, being wounded, and many privates both killed and wounded.
About 10 o'clock Friday morning the brigade was ordered to move in the direction of Gaines' Mill, Lieut. Col. B. H. Jones still in command of the regiment. Having passed beyond the mill, the brigade was halted and disposition made to support General Anderson's brigade, which had been ordered to attack the enemy, strongly posted in front to the right of the road. This regiment was formed in column of companies at half distance, to support the regiments of the brigade in line of battle in front. Advancing, after a short delay, through the wood we drove back the enemy's sharpshooters in the direction of his main line. Emerging into a field in front the command was given to charge, and the regiments in front, supported by this regiment (the Sixtieth Virginia), rushed forward with loud shouts. Unfortunately, however, we had proceeded but a few hundred yards when upon reaching the crest of the hill, within full view of the enemy, the center of the line encountered a house and garden fence, which broke the lines of the regiments in front. At the same time the enemy opened upon us a terrific fire of artillery and musketry. Nevertheless this regiment maintained its position until some regiments in front, said to belong to General Anderson's brigade, gave way, falling back through the brigade. We were then commanded to fall back in order by the general commanding. This movement was attended with some confusion, but a large proportion of the regiment rallied gallantly around their flag, and many members of other regiments, exhorted by the general commanding and others, rallied with us. Here Capt. S. H. Tompkins, of Company G, was killed while most gallantly exhorting his command to «54 R R--VOL XI, PT II» >ar13_850>stand by their colors. Not being deemed advisable to attempt another charge at that time we fell back to the woods, where the regiment remained until again ordered forward in the final and victorious charge, in which charge, however, the regiment did not act as conspicuous a part as was desirable, owing to a misapprehension of orders; but the whole command behaved with remarkable coolness, though exposed for several hours to a most harassing fire of shell and musketry.
The regiment remained on the battle-field until Sunday morning, when the brigade crossed the Chickahominy. On Sunday evening I rejoined the regiment and resumed the command.
On Monday evening, the 30th, we were ordered to the support of General Kemper's brigade, then engaged near Frazier's farm with an overwhelming force of the enemy. The regiment advanced at double-quick nearly two miles to the brow of the hill, where a battery of eight guns, Randall's Penn Battery, was posted, which had been taken from the enemy and by them recaptured before we reached the ground.
We were immediately formed into line of battle, the Fifty-fifth Virginia on our right, and ordered to retake the battery. Delivering a few volleys the regiment moved forward, charged the enemy, drove them into and through the woods for a considerable distance, killing, wounding, and taking many of them prisoners, and recapturing the battery. On reaching the wood, however, the enemy poured a heavy fire into our line, upon which the command was given to charge bayonets. This command was obeyed with great alacrity, and very many of the enemy fell before the formidable weapon. After driving them for half a mile beyond this point the brigade was ordered to halt, where we remained for half a hour, it being then quite dark. The enemy not again appearing, the regiment was ordered to return to the battery, and there remain until the pieces were carried off the field. This accomplished we returned to the road and bivouacked for the night.
In this engagement Capt. W. A. Gilliam, Company K, and Lieut. William A. Moore. Company F, were wounded, with a loss of many privates killed and wounded.
Suffering from the wound in my hand, I was again compelled to relinquish the command, and left the regiment in charge of Maj. J. C. Summers, Lieut. Col. B. H. Jones being quite unwell and having been sent to Richmond by advice of the surgeon.
On Tuesday evening the regiment was drawn up in line of battle with the brigade, but was not called into action.
In closing this report I must beg leave to mention most particularly the great gallantry and coolness displayed by Lieutenant-Colonel Jones, who was most conspicuous in every engagement until forced to leave the field of battle, and it was to me a source of intense satisfaction that When forced to relinquish the command I was enabled to place the regiment under the charge of so capable and brave an officer. Major Summers led gallantly in various charges in which the regiment was engaged, acting with coolness and discretion. To Lieut. T. G. Pollock, adjutant of the regiment, too much praise cannot be rendered; conspicuous in the field, leading the men in every fight, and aiding most materially in rallying the regiment around its colors. Of the officers of the line, Capt. G. W. Hammond and Lieuts. H. Grose, A. Given, and A. Johnson, Company D; Capt. J. N. Taylor and Lieuts. Moses McClintic and L H. Larew, of Company E; Captain Caynor and Lieuts. J. C. Cabell, P.M. Paxton, and Moore, Company F; Capt. W. S. Rowan and Lieuts. S. D. Pack and J. N. Shanklin, Company A; Capt. J. W. Johnston and Lieuts. H. G. Cannon and A. Surbangh, Company B; Capt. S.S. Dews >ar13_851>and Lieuts. E. H. Easley and F. N. Darlington (the latter commanding the Infirmary Corps), of Company C; Capt. J. M. Baily and Lieuts. R. A. Hale and G. W. Belcher, Company H; Captain Gilliam and Lieuts.-- Wilson, G. S. Heslep, and Charles E. Tucker, Company K; Capt. S. H. Tompkins (killed) and Lieuts. A. G. Ingraham and A. J. Kelly, Company G; Lieut. A. G. P. George, commanding Company I, aided by Lieutenants Stevenson and Lilly (the latter killed), all displayed conspicuous gallantry.
I desire to notice particularly the good conduct of Lieut. A. G. P. George, not only throughout all the engagements in which the regiment participated, but for months past while in charge of Company I, in faithfully discharging the responsible duties of his position. After Captain Caynor received his wound, on the 26th, the command of Company F devolved on First Lieutenant Cabell, who in the succeeding engagements deported himself with remarkable coolness and bravery. Lieutenant Ingraham, of Company G, who assumed command of Company G upon the death of Captain Tompkins, attracted the attention of all by his unshrinking courage and resolutions. The highest terms of praise apply with equal justice to Lieuts. H. G. Cannon, Company B, E. H. Easley, of Company E, and R. A. Hale, of Company H, upon whom, owing to the wounds or sickness of their captains, in particular engagements, devolved the command of their respective companies. Lieut. I. H. Larew, Company E, particularly distinguished himself in the charge of the 30th; seizing the colors of the regiment from the color-bearer, who was exhausted, he bore them gallantly in front of the regiment until the enemy were driven from the field.
It is proper to remark in this connection that Lieut. L. P. Summers, Company A, was absent on detached service, and Lieuts. T. L. Jones, Company B; J. L. Johnson, Company C; C. H. Rector, Company G; Karr, Company H, and Capt. W. G. Ryan, Company I, were absent sick during these engagements.
I would be doing injustice to Sergeant-Major Cordell, a mere youth, were I to omit calling special attention to the coolness and soldierly bearing that marked his conduct throughout. He is a young officer of great promise. Ordnance-Sergeant Peyton also discharged his duties with promptitude and fidelity. Capt. A. McDonald, quartermaster, and Capt. H. Estill, regimental commissary, were prompt and efficient in the discharge of their duties, and their general conduct ever since their connection with the regiment has been worthy of all praise. To Surg. H. R. Noel and Assist. Surg. W. R. Capehart I was under many obligations for their unwearied and skillful attentions to the wounded of the regiment. The non-commissioned officers, with but three exceptions, acted their parts well.
I cannot close this report without noticing the conduct of Privates George R. Taylor, Company E, and Robert A. Christian, Company I. The former may be styled "the Father of the Regiment." Near sixty years of age, he volunteered at the commencement of the war, and his energy, patriotism, and general good conduct, as well as his determined bravery in all the recent engagements, have excited the admiration of all. Private Christian, in the bayonet charge of the 30th, was assailed by no less than four of the enemy at the same instant. He succeeded in killing three of them with his own hands, though wounded in several places by bayonet-thrusts, and his brother, Eli W. Christian, going to his aid, dispatched the fourth.
Rev. Nathaniel G. Robinson, formerly a lieutenant in Company I, but who was not a candidate for re-election, returned to the regiment after a brief absence, and taking his musket, fought gallantly through the battles of the 26th, 27th, and 30th ultimo, in the last of which he received a slight wound. Such conduct, prompted by patriotism and a sense of duty alone, is worthy of note.
For a detailed account of the good conduct of the non-commissioned officers and privates generally I beg leave to refer you to the several company reports accompanying this document.
W. E. STARKE,
Colonel, Commanding Sixtieth Virginia Regiment.
Capt. G. F. HARRISON,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brigade, Light Division.