Today in History:

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


but after a time, being unable to communicate with Major Sanford, then seeing men taken to the rear as prisoners by the enemy, then hearing that the major was captured, and seeing the ground on his right and even in the rear thereof held by the enemy, where they could enfilade him, he gave the order and with a considerable number went rapidly back. As soon as I could communicate with him (General Terry being present and supervising all the movements), I sent him, afterward changing the order to include only Lieutenant Wildman and 40 men, to the Redan No. 2, in front of Battery 3 (unfinished and unoccupied), which overlooked and commanded the point of woods, and, so far as the trees did not forbid, the ground where Companies C and H had been, near which the rebels were busily digging a new line. Lieutenant Wildman immediately opened a lively fire upon them. In the mean time the enemy had in a similar manner attacked our left in the woods and captured 18 men of Company B and a few others. Company E held fast for the most part, and Captain Perry held without interruption the left of the field, repelling the enemy's attack. I sent two companies of the Third New Hampshire down there to re-enforce the Seventh Connecticut. A detachment of Colonel Spear's dismounted cavalry came to our assistance, as did Captain Pride, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, with some of his force belonging in Redan No. 3. He was also ordered to open with canister or grape on the woods directly in front of him, which he did. The enemy's forces on that side then appeared to be the Twenty-second South Carolina, for in this combined resistance Colonel Dantzler was killed, a number of his men killed and wounded, a lieutenant and 23 men captured, and the rest repulsed. I sent all that remained of the Seventh Connecticut to the left, where the broken parts of the line were re-established,and directed them to work their way on the old line to the right as fast as possible. Captains Thompson and Perry and Lieutenants Barker and Merriam were there. On the right Batteries 3 and 4 shelled the point of woods whence C and H were taken with great vigor. Under the general's orders, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Plimpton, with the remainder of his regiment (Third New Hampshire), to retake that ground, where the enemy must have been exceedingly uneasy under the combined artillery and infantry fire directed upon them. Colonel Plimpton went well around to our right of the disputed ground, dashed suddenly in, and drove the rebels out instantly, capturing 38, and killing and wounding a number. His men and the Seventh Connecticut soon joined across the field, and the whole of my old line was re-established. The faulty line of the brigade on my right was permanently retired, and the final result was a correction of the whole, making it much better.

Of course, I painfully regret the occurrences of the day, but I have no facts which lead me to censure the officers or men of the Seventh Connecticut. The picket-line of the whole division was apparently attacked. The ground and the crooked line were a constant temptation to the enemy to make just such a dash upon the disconnected posts and thinly scattered men.

The enemy suffered heavily in killed and wounded besides losing nearly as many prisoners (60), though he had all the advantage in his opportunity to strike suddenly and heavily and withdraw.

The Seventh Connecticut had Captain C. C. Mills (one of the bravest of men) shot through the right lung; Lieutenant W. S. Marble,