Today in History:

125 Series I Volume XI-II Serial 13 - Peninsular Campaign Part II


mined resistance, but did not check our advance. At this time we lost 3 captains, 3 lieutenants, and a number of sergeants, leaving two companies commanded by corporals.

We now drove the reserve from their position through the bushes, across the open field, and into the bushes on the other side near the rail fence. At the same time a large force of infantry was seen moving from left to right when I sent to the brigadier-general commanding for re-enforcements. Eight companies of the Second New Hampshire came up promptly and took position, six on my right and two on my left. Soon after Lieutenant-Colonel Wells, with the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Regiment, took position as support in my rear. The services of only two companies being required, the remainder was ordered to a new position by the brigadier-general commanding brigade. Meanwhile, my line being established according to previous instructions on the edge of the bushes and being continually fired upon by the enemy from the bushes and trees on the opposite side of the field, we kept up a well-directed fire upon their position. We continued to hold our position until relieved late in the evening by the Thirty-sixth New York Regiment and Third Maine, the instructions of the brigadier-general commanding having been fully carried out, but in doing so I met with quite a severe loss. I annex a list of casualties.*

During the day we were visited several times by the brigadier-general commanding brigade, which greatly encouraged the men.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding First Regiment Massachusetts Infantry.


Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.

Near James River, Va., July 11, 1862

SIR: I make to you the following report of the part taken in the battle of Nelson's Farm, near White Oak Swamp, by the First Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, under my command, on Monday, June 30;

The enemy in overwhelming numbers attacked a portion of our lines held by General McCall's division for the purpose of breaking our lines and completely destroying the rear of our arm. This, it seems, was nearly accomplished, when General Hooker's division was ordered up and placed in such a position as to check their farther advance, and they were finally repulsed and put to flight with great slaughter. During this action I was ordered to charge on the enemy in front at considerable distance, which I did, passing over a fence across a field and through the woods, the rebels falling back before us; we still advanced through an open field. Here we advanced in line of battle, when a brigade of troops, dressed in our uniform and supposed by us to be our own, opened a terrific fire on our front and left flank, from which fire I lost many of my bravest and best men.

In connection with this movement I cannot speak in too high praise of Major Chandler, Capts. Clark B. Baldwin, G. Walker, A. W. Adams, and First Lieuts. George E. Henry and William Sutherland, who assisted greatly in cheering on the men. During this encounter Major


*Embodied in revised statement, p. 37.