Today in History:

54 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


passed the woods, reformed, moved across the field, halted, and faced the enemy, a portion of the Third Brigade being on its left and General Turner's division on its right. As the Seventh Connecticut came up, I placed it in rear of the Third to close its ranks. The enemy soon appeared, coming through the belt of woods, often referred to, in fierce pursuit, and opening a violent fire. The Third New Hampshire advanced to meet them, returned and silenced their fire, turned them back, drove them to the woods, captured a lieutenant-colonel and major and 15 men, and strewed the ground with killed and wounded. Few feats of valor have been more handsomely performed than this was. Sending the Seventh Connecticut back a short distance, under General Terry's order, before I could get the Third New Hampshire to join them, I received an order from Major-General Gillmore to fall back half a mile to a hill, where an ice-house stood, and hold the position. Arriving the with the Seventh Connecticut, Brigadier-General Foster, chief of staff, put the Ninety-sixth New York under my command, and I put the two in line. The Third New Hampshire soon came up. In an hour or two the Ninety-sixth was restored to its own brigade, and we followed the Third Brigade of this division to the turnpike, halting once and facing the enemy for an hour, and then down the turnpike to Perdue's again. After another halt in line, we went forward again to the position of the last preceding halt to cover the retreat of Colonel Plaisted with the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, Tenth Connecticut, and Seventh New Hampshire. When they passed us and took position we again started, this time continuing to our camp, which we reached about 8 p.m., having conducted the retreat leisurely and in good order.

I have nothing but words of the highest praise for the three regiments under my command upon this expedition. It so happened that the Seventh New Hampshire lost least, but when sent twice where severe loss appeared probable, its conduct was admirable. In charging up the slope to the burned house on the 14th, and in repelling the savage assault that evening it won high praise. Colonel Abbott and Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson proved themselves able and brave soldiers. The Third New Hampshire covered itself with glory in the two brilliant performances which I have noted, though at sad cost. Lieutenant-Colonel Plimpton and Major Randlett are all that any commander could ask in any emergency. The Seventh Connecticut also lost heavily; nothing could be finer than the undaunted spirit with which three or four of its companies as skirmishers took the house on the 14th, or with which the whole battalion met four fierce assaults. Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman. Major Sanford, and Captain Dennis, acting field officer, won most cordial praise.

I trust that a grateful country will remember the many glorious patriots whose names I cannot here mention who suffered or died so cheerfully for the good of their country and mankind.

Permit me to name my staff, who all labored faithfully and fearlessly throughout: First Lieutenant E. L. Moore, Seventh Connecticut, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant John Van Keuren, Seventh Connecticut; Lieutenant Heber J. Davis, Seventh New Hampshire, severely wounded on the 14th; Lieutenant Hanson, Seventh New Hampshire, brigade quartermaster, and Lieutenant W. T. Seward, Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, commissary.