Today in History:

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


bee simply to hold my position and await orders. It now became necessary to act. The choice was plainly between capture and a perilous retreat across the open fields to our works. I therefore gave the order, with a reluctance which I never felt before in performing a military duty, to fall back. This order was executed after almost all the rest of the division line of picket had given way under a severe fire from the enemy, and across an unprotected field, but with little loss; and painful as it always is to order a retreat, I had the satisfaction of knowing that the order saved a hundred men and rifles to the service, and of receiving the unqualified approval of my brigade, division, and corps commanders for the course adopted. On the extreme left a part of Company E, in a favorable position, did not leave their ground at all. The men who fell back to the works were re-organized and at once pushed forward to the picket-line, for the most part on the left. The entire line, except at the former post of Companies C and H, was gradually re-established and held.

The conduct of officers and men throughout the affair was admirable, but I may be permitted to speak especially of the extraordinary coolness and courage of Captain Charles C. Mills, of Company G, who received early in the fight a wound which it is greatly feared may be mortal. The list of casualties inclosed* shows our loss to be in numbers about 30 per centrum of those engaged, and 7 out of 15 officers. The actual loss sustained by the regiment in these officers is quite inadequately represented by these figures.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Seventh Connecticut Volunteers.

Lieutenant E. LEWIS MOORE,

A. A. A. G., Second Brigadier, First Div., Tenth Army Corps.


HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, FIRST DIV., TENTH ARMY CORPS, Bermuda Hundred Intrenchments, Va., June 6, 1864.

Respectfully returned for correction. In one place it is stated that all of Captain Mills' command fell back, which is not quite correct, and indeed it is afterward that E did not fall back. Nor is it correct to say on the third page "that we abandoned our entire line." Captain Perry, with Company I, to say nothing of a few men of neighboring companies, never left the pits on the left of the open field or in the edge of the woods, and on the left it would have been Connecticut Artillery and two companies of the Third New Hampshire, the latter sent out by the brigade commander for their help in re-establishing the line. The posts occupied by C and H were soon after retaken by the Third New Hampshire, the majority of which regiment, under Lieutenant-Colonel Plimpton, went out for that purpose, accomplished it, and took 35 prisoners. Lieutenant Wildman with his company (A) in the redan had materially assisted in clearing the way for this, by opening a lively fire on the woods in the direction, to say nothing of the artillery fire from Batteries 3 and 4.

By order of Colonel Hawley:

First Lieutenant Seventh Connecticut Vols., A. A. A. G.


*Embodied in revised statement, p.19.