Tarheels During the Civil War

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

J.J. Philips Letter

Letter from J.J. Philips of Co.G 3rd NC Cavalry.

Camp of Co. “G.” 3rd N.C. Cav
Near Stony Creek, Va, Sept. 24th 1864

My Dear Club Mate:
            It was really a pleasure to me to receive your letter a day or two ago, it came very unexpectedly as I had almost given you out ever writing to me. I was glad however to learn that I still retain a place in your memory, and I hope you will write me often and keep me posted in the news at Chapel Hill. I have seen tough times since I left there and let me tell you, Keep out of this war as long as you honorably can if you come in though at any time I hope you will come to this Company, “G” 3rd N.C. Cav it is a very nice company composed of nice young fellows.
            Our Division and some other cavalry went down near City Point in the rear of Grant’s Army a few days ago and brought out several thousand very nice beeves captured about two hundred and fifty prisoners and good many horses. We had a hard time on the raid on our horses day and night without any rest while returning our Company was sent around on different  rout to picket some roads coming in the main road, our Cavalry was traveling when the Yankees pursuing Gen Hampton cut us off from our command we were surrounded by them know not what way to go. Fortunately we met up with some scouts who piloted us out through the woods. You requested me to write you a long letter continuing my life and adventures minutely since I left Chapel Hill but I have not the time this evening. I have been in six or eight fights one or two of the latter Guthrie can tell you about, he has been with us a month or two, but he has seen very little hard service we had just returned from Northern Virginia there is where we suffered so much Guthrie I believe has become disgusted with cavalry.
            I was glad you wrote me concerning the Clubs for I have been anxious to know something of them since I left Guthrie requested me to write him and let him know of our whereabouts.  I wish you would say to him we are near the same place he left us, and I expect him to bring me something good. You must send me something to eat by him, any thing will be gladly received for a soldier here is always hungry.
            Julius Barlow is in the Tarboro Hospital he joined service at the same time I did, came to Virginia and was taken sick soon after he reached here and has done no duty since been in Hospitals all the time. Poor fellow I fear he has consumption. James Battle is with Gen Early in the Valley well I have not time to write more give my very best respects to Jug and all Club mates, also remember me to Chat Bryan Busber tell Chat I see his brother every day and he tells me about Chats badness at home.
            Excuse this apology for a letter for I have written in the greatest haste, burn it immediately after reading
In haste
I remain Your true friend
J J Philips

Co “G” 3rd Reg N.C. Cav
Barringers Brigade
W H F Lee’s Division
Army Northern Virginia

Source: North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Monday, April 18, 2011

George Brandt Letters Part 2

Yorktown Va July 12 1861
My Dear Cousin Jacob
            Your [illegible] communication for[?] Leeds[?] Pemberton came duly to hand & much gratified inasmuch as it gave me a complete idea of the affairs of Harmmusty[?] & I always imagined that our beloved Uncle who has thus far been nothing else to no but a source of great mortification, was the Ringleader in the fray As far as Cousin Salush[?] is concerned the only fault that Karmishy[?] finds with him is in giving work to hands without consulting his Harmmosky[?] first. This is wrong as H[?] should be the best judge of these things I shall write to Karmishy[?] to pay[?] & tell to leave the settlement with [illegible] as well as the paying out to you. As it is out of the question for me to become a furlough the reasons I gave in one of my letters to Henry. I requested Brother[?] Henry to come here there may in all probability be a great Battle fought during his stay about here, and he will have some thing to amuse him, as I shall take him with me in the trenches, and give him a musket by the way of pastime[?].as far as the danger is concern he will only be exposed to the same chances as his oldest Brother, an old soldiers alongside of me was reading the few lines I wrote just now remarked that will[?] just hein[?] through a course of sprouts[?] We have very quiet times here quiet now (and except our usual rations which I enumerated so often) there is nothing stirring day before yesterday while on Dress Parade, 2 fine Heroes ran away with a Brass Cannon and seriously injuring 2 Artillerists and riding on one of the horses and the other setting on the ammunition wagon the horses [illegible] down the canon & carriage part exposed one of the soldiers thrown of the other between the wheels. The whole mess came very near running into the whole of the 5th North Carolina Regiment of Vol to 1150 men who were drawn up in a line of Battle. They stood like a solid wall in view of there danger and never moved an inch. But they turned over before they reached them, such occurences are nothing new these 2 soldiers of the first N.C. Regt were buried yesterday of Comp A. & B. they died from effects of measles & fever. Present my respects to Wilson[?] family Baker[?] family & Powers family. Tell Mrs Powers Eddy[?] is well I have seen him this morning
Your True Cousin George

Source: George Brandt Letters, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

George Brandt Letters Part 1

Letter from George Brandt, Company F 1st NC Vols. while at Yorktown VA. Items in brackets are mine.

Yorktown Va June 20 1861
My Dear Cousin Jacob:
            I truly regret of the troubles that has come up amongst the trio & harmmick[?]. It provoked me to such an extent that it kept me away for about 2 days. To see how shabby [illegible] about the aimfactory[?] [illegible] has been managed by [illegible] that had no business with it and I commenced to blame my self for having enlisted in this noble cause as I once thought that everything [illegible] conducted right during my absence. But I am now sorry to say that I was much mistaken. You will please to let me know by return of main who the originate [?] is that great[?] discontention[?] of hammock[?] is and who really is to blame or Henry[?] is not [illegible] enough. You will please to give your attention to Karmisoky[?] and let him refund his order to you. Let him have the management of the new factory altogether and need to keep out of the office and of the store altogether if he can not keep everything quiet and add to the good order of the store instead of in confusion. What in the devil has Salush[?] to do with Harmmick[?] Please to write me the whole particulars by return of mail. The [illegible] has been lost [illegible] … table had for the past few weeks & it is very [illegible] am not to be out & exposed to the sun. To work good  [illegible] I have every day. Bob[?] yet we all with  [illegible] few exceptions enjoy excellent health.
In conclusion I would beg you for Heavens sake see that every thing is kept in decent order, as I look to you as the most reasonable of the whole and I hope the most discreet. Give the name of the aggressor so that I can put him down in my memorandum. If I can succeed if peace is not declared soon I may get a furlough for 10 days & come home. Our Company I amongst the number have just come off guard we have all been on 24 hours with proper[?] relieved & have slept but very little during that time. I am tired & sleepy. We have guarded a Church which is turned into a prison. There were 50 Prisoners in it Soldiers for insubordination. My Station was at a Graveyard and a rainy night at that, it was in Yorktown. How would you have liked that Jacob? We are all on the look out all the time. Though at present we have but a small force here[?] about 4000 Soldiers but over 10,000 within hailing distance almost we do not expect any great Battles now until after the 4 of July if after. Please to write to me soon Give my respects to [illegible] & Alex [illegible] & tell them I am much obliged to them for the cheese tobacco & cake Kiss all the Boys & Girls for me at [illegible] Give my respects to Mrs Baker[?] & family and all inquiring friends
[illegible] your Cousin Geog

Source: George Brandt Letters, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, NC.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Graphic Letter From Big Bethel

Letter from Henry E. Benton, Co. F 1st NC Vols ( 6 Months ) describing battle of Big Bethel. First part of letter is missing, or I just missed seeing it. Spelling and punctuation is original. Items in brackets are my own.

if they had just kept on we would have had one of the hardest kind of fights at the ford for they were in a large force and we were only a hundred strong still[?] in the bushes, but I think we would have whipped them. Just after this the Capt called out for five volunteers to go and scout down the road and creek. I and four others stepped out of the ranks and we went down the creek some two or three miles but did not see anything. We staid out all day. We went to a mans house and took dinner and came back just at night. As soon as I got back I went to see some of the battle field. I saw the Captain that was shot he had a hole through his breast as large as a hens egg his face was covered with blood he was a fine looking man also near him there was a young man that was shot just under his breastbone he was ghastly looking for his eyes were open and glassy  but the worst sight I saw was near the edge of the creek there was one man there that had a shot strike him just where the hair meets his forehead and split his skull open clear through his brains were scattered all about and his face was covered with bloody foam from his mouth. I did not have any more time to look about for the Companys were forming to march back to Yorktown they all thought that I was taken for I could not be found and so I was reported missing but I turned up at the right time. Those that went over the field after the battle … that they saw only about 75 dead but that they also saw a great many limbs brains entrails and other parts of bodies where there was no dead bodies to be found it was a very bloody fight on their part for they had seized on a great many wagons and carriages to carry their dead and wounded away. And the cavalry that followed them down to Hampton said that they had burnt all the houses on both sides of the road as they came up and that they found some of their dead scattered along the road. We had only one man killed and four wounded slightly. The one that was killed and two of the wounded would not have been so, but their Capt called for volunteers to fire a house during the heat of the fight and six stepped out, they jumped over the entrenchments and ran for the house but alas one of them was shot down and two of them wounded. And so our artillery fired a shell into it and set it afire for it sheltered the enemy. While the fight was going on one of the enemy was looking through the cracks[?] of a house and a bomb shell went through the house and through him also. One man was found with a shot hole through im from the Rifle Cannon it was big enough to put your two fists through. Now I will tell you the force of the enemy and our own and the number that were engaged on our side. The enemy were 4500 strong with five or six cannons. They had several stronger and larger than ours for we could tell it by the noise that they made. We had only two pieces that could be brought to bear on them with any effect and two more that got an occasional shot and three that were placed in different places to keep them from out flanking us. The one of them was at the ford with us and shot at them once[?] our men that were actively engaged were only 500 the rest were placed about in different parts and did not get only a few shots some of them none. Our whole number was 1100 strong with 7 pieces of artillery. One Rifle and six Howitzers. That Rifle is a great improvement for it will shoot any sort of shot you will put in it to the distance of five miles. I could not see much of the fight but I could hear the bombs bursting and and the shrieks of the wounded and the cheers whenever a good shot was made. The trees crashing and limbs breaking trampling of the men above the din of the battle. Our Company (Co F) was in a dangerous place and could not return the fire. The shot fell like rain amongst them and did not touch them bombs burst around and over them and and did not bit one of them. One of our men had a piece knocked out of his musket [illegible], but did not get hit, one had a ball pass through his blouse and not touch him. Charly Murphy had a bomb burst within ten feet of him and did not touch him several burst over his head and did not touch him here our company was the trees were all skinned up. The Southern Horse[?] were just above us also in a dangerous place but they were more sheltered than we were one of them had his cheek grazed by a piece of bomb bursting but did not hurt him. The old FJSJ[?] were not in as dangerous a position as our company they were on the right flank, during the fight a body of the enemy tried to turn our right flank but they were met by the Hornets Nest Rifles who fire a volley and then charged bayonet, he had a ball pass through his wrist it is a great wonder to me and also to them that more were not hurt for the shot struck their pieces and embankment and one shot struck their tar[?] bucket just under the Howitzer and did no damage. They worked their guns as coolly as when they were on drill their officers would not let them fire only when the enemy were formed and pretty thick then they would take aim and scatter them like chaff, there were some five hundred of the enemy hid in the woods just over the creek waiting for our men to be run out by the firing of the bombs but they waited in vain. I must close up now for I am about run out of news, and have written enough of this dangerous fight and glorious victory. Next day (yesterday) we heard that they had lost [illegible] three to five hundred, the country people went into the woods around there and they found as many more killed than were thought to have been. They were strewed all around in the bushes, there were some 75 left in a yard near Hampton that died going on down there. The aide camp to the Col (Hill) had his hat knocked off his head but did not get hurt. One of the [illegible] horses had a ball pass straight through his breast. One of their mules had a bomb pass through his body this poor mule tried to run by fell down and died. It kept the bomb from bursting amongst the ranks. Col McGruder and Col Hill were walking about as if they were at home Col Hill was eating a cracker and made his servant cook his dinner all the while the firing was going on. We have the best of officers and have great confidence in them. Col Hill said that we were spoiling for a fight and so he marched us down there to have it he also that he never commanded a body of men but that he had a fight the enemy said ( so we heard by a deserter) that they were not afraid of the NC Volunteers nor Virginians that they could whip them out with cornstalks[?] and [illegible] of their muskets, but they were afraid of the Geo and Louisiana troops. I guess they found out their mistake, the prisoners that were took said that they would not have a fight but that we would of run or surrender two of the prisoners were wounded that we took one had both his legs shot off we took five in all during the fight. Please draw off an account of the fight for Miss Mary Williams for Charly Williams has had the measles he is getting well now and is most able to be about there has been two or three cases of the measles in camp. Also let Mr Murphy read it for Charley did not write any description of it to them keep the original yourself. Tell Mr McDougald all about it we are all well as may be expected only stiff and sore from our long march for we marched back to Yorktown that same night and got there at 7[?] oclock at night. The Louisiana marched down there early in the morning and got there just after the fight they marched back with us. We are expecting an attack every day from them but we will whip them again we have 5800 men and 24 field pieces besides our entrenchments. The steamer down the river had drawn nearer. They will also attack us by water. No more until after another fight and then I will write and tell you all about it if I am not killed. Let Mr Vink[?] read this and tell him if he want to fight to come here Love to all at home my respects to Mr Williams family Charley has not been very sick. George Baker sends you his kindest regards he looks forward to my getting a letter from you with as much pleasure as myself for I let him read them
Your affectionate Son
Henry E Benton

Source: Henry E. Benton Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh, N.C.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland on the Seven Days.

Report of Brig. Gen. Samuel Garland, jr., C.S. Army, commanding Third Brigade, of the engagement at King's School-House, or Oak Grove, and battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Malvern Hill.

Headquarters Third Brigade, Third Division
July 14, 1862.
Major: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this brigade in the recent engagements and operations of the army before Richmond:
On June 25 the movements of the enemy on the Williamsburg road inducing Major-General Huger, whose troops were in front, to call for support, I was ordered to move forward my brigade in supporting distance of Generals Armistead and Wright and co-operate with them to such extent as the exigency might require. Those generals having moved forward their troops into the woods in front of our lines on the Williamsburg road, my brigade was placed in the vacated rifle pits and kept under arms and exposed to artillery fire during the entire afternoon. The Fifth North Carolina, Col. D.K. McRae, was ordered to move forward out of the rifle pits across the field in front to the edge of the woods opposite and protect a section of artillery brought up to that point to silence the enemy's guns. This duty they performed with their accustomed alacrity and happily escaped casualties.
Having spent more than half the day under arms and under fire, the brigade was permitted to return to camp after dark and make preparations for the impending movements. I mention the foregoing fatigues and exposure because they were in the nature of extra duty borne by this brigade on the eve of general operations, and the troops should receive the proper credit for it.
Cooking until a late hour of the night and then catching a little sleep, the brigade moved about 2 o'clock on the morning of June 26, along with the rest of the division, to a position on the Mechanicsville turnpike just behind the crest of the commanding hills which overlook the Chickahominy, where we remained in position, masked from the observation of the enemy, until Maj.Gen. A.P. Hill's troops should carry Mechanicsville from the other side. This part of the plan being at length accomplished late in the afternoon, this brigade, along with the rest of the division and Major-General Longstreet's, crossed the Chickahominy, and was drawn up in line of battle under the crest of a hill on the right of the turnpike just in rear of Anderson's brigade. In taking this position the brigade was exposed to a severe artillery fire from the works of the enemy on the Beaver Dam Creek. The fire ceasing as night closed in, the men slept upon their arms in line of battle.
At an early hour on the morning of the 27th we were put in motion to move off to the position assigned the division en echelon to Major-General Jackson's column on the left as we swept down the Chickahominy. To reach this position it was necessary to cross the Beaver Dam Creek. The line of the Mechanicsville turnpike being still obstructed by an earthwork of the enemy, where they had artillery and some infantry, while our artillery engaged that of the enemy and part of the division remained to support it, this brigade, along with that of General Anderson, moved up a road more to the left, and turning in through the country and crossing the creek higher up at a secret ford, turned the position of the enemy and gained the Mechanicsville turnpike again without firing a shot. The enemy meanwhile withdrew their guns and retired, leaving the way open for the artillery to come up from Mechanicsville and the other brigades also. The whole division was now reunited and effected a junction with Major-General Jackson's forces near where the road from Pole Green Church crosses the turnpike.
From thence we moved to Jackson's left, and taking a circuitous route by Bethesda Church, proceeded to Cold Harbor and thence toward New Cold Harbor, which point we reached early in the afternoon of Friday, the 27th. As we approached a road crossing the line of our route near New Cold Harbor the enemy was discovered in line of battle with artillery to oppose our progress. Their position was quite a strong one and dispositions were made for an engagement. Captain Bondurant's battery, of this brigade, being brought up to the front, took position just to the right of the road, and Anderson's brigade being in line of battle on the right, this brigade was placed in line of battle on the left of and perpendicular to the road by which we had advanced, the Fifth North Carolina, on the right, holding a little copse of timber just next the battery and the road, the rest of the line in the edge of a second growth of diminutive pines, which should be called a jungle - not a piece of timber - through which I threw forward a line of skirmishers to the farther side, next and near to the enemy. These skirmishers found themselves on one side of a valley through the bottom of which ran a ditch, the ground rising to a crest on the other side, where on the edge of the woods the enemy's lines extended, being some 400 yards off. Their line of battle seemed oblique to our own, and in my view the advance of my own brigade in line of battle through the tangled growth in front seemed impracticable, and further liable to the objection that my right flank would be exposed to the fire of the enemy's line, posted obliquely to my own. These views were stated to the general of division, and determined the direction of the subsequent movement of the brigade. An active artillery fight was now carried on for some time, in which Captain Bondurant's battery was engaged. That fine officer, his men, and officers, behaved well and rendered an effective fire; but the enemy soon ascertaining the exact range and bringing up heavier metal, Captain Bondurant sustained a loss of 2 killed and 1 mortally wounded, since dead, making 3; 14 wounded and 28 horses killed and disabled. He was now relieved and sent to the rear, having fired nearly all his rounds. Captain Bondurant had also been engaged at Mechanicsville on Thursday evening.
Major-General Jackson arriving on our part of the field, a change was made in the disposition of our infantry forces equivalent to a change of front to rear on the left battalion of my brigade, the expectation being that the enemy would be rolled back upon us and received by us in this new position. The sounds of an active engagement were now heard going on immediately in front of the last position, and perceiving that the result was doubtful, brigade after brigade of our division was ordered to proceed toward the sound of the firing. To do this all had to cross an open field several hundred yards wide under a vigorous enfilading fire of artillery and gain a skirt of timber covering a ravine some half mile in front. This brigade was ordered forward last to go to the support of the others, this being deemed more judicious on the whole than to charge the enemy's batteries and infantry supports already referred to.
Reaching the skirt of woods referred to, I there found the rest of the division lying unengaged under cover, the fight being still farther on in another woods, separated by an opening of 800 or 1,000 yards. General Anderson's brigade, the first sent over, seems to have driven some of the enemy from the belt of woods in which I found the division. Owing to the necessity of prolonging lines to left or right as the brigades came up, I found that several regiments were detached from their brigades and that there were several lines of our troops in the belt of timber in reserve to each other.
Communicating with General Anderson, we ascended out of the raving to commanding open ground, from whence we could see the engagement in front of us. We perceived a line of fresh troops brought up at right angles to our position to the edge of the woods in our front and pouring volley fires into a line screened from our view by the woods. We concluded, from our imperfect knowledge of localities, that the line we saw must be the enemy and that their flank was fairly exposed to us. In the absence of superior commanders we were consulting as to taking the responsibility of ordering a charge on this exposed flank of the enemy across the intervening open fields under the heavy fire of artillery when Major-General Hill joined us in person. We pointed out to him the situation and explained our proposed plan, which he at once adopted and ordered the charge to be made without delay, as the evening was already wearing late. Under the order of the general of division all the brigades were to advance, and accordingly no time was lost in sending back detached regiments to their brigades. This will account for the fact that I found on the left and under my general supervision the Third North Carolina, Colonel Meares, of General Ripley's brigade, and one of the regiment of General Rodes' brigade. By a change of position, unnecessary to be detailed, I had placed Colonel McRae, with the Fifth North Carolina, on the left of my brigade, and the line being a long one with the additions stated, I requested him to exercise a general supervision over the troops on the left, subject to my orders.
The whole line now moved forward with rapidity and enthusiasm. So soon as it had well cleared the skirt of timber and emerged upon the open plateau the enemy's artillery played upon it, but their fire was checked by a movement presently to be mentioned. The effect of our appearance at this opportune juncture, cheering and charging, decided the fate of the day. The enemy broke and retreated, made a second brief stand, which induced my immediate command to halt under good cover of the bank on the road-side and return their fire, when, charging forward again, they broke and scattered in every direction, and following, I found that I had effected a junction with Major-General Jackson's column, meeting with General Lawton in person and with the officers and troops of Hood's and Winder's brigades.
The battle was now over, except a scattering fight around a house to our left, near which the enemy's batteries had been posted. As our line moved forward several regiments on the left, viz, the Twentieth North Carolina and Third North Carolina, were swung around by Major-General Hill's orders to attack this battery, and thus to prevent it from playing on the other troops charging over the plain. In this movement the Twentieth North Carolina, Colonel Iverson, participated, sustaining a heavy loss, and at a later period I sent Col. A.M. Scales, Thirteenth North Carolina, to re-enforce our troops there. The attack was partially successful, our troops especially acting handsomely and maintaining themselves against superior numbers.
Having effected the junction with Major-General Jackson's troops as above stated, I suggested to General Lawton that further re-enforcements should be sent to this point on the left, which being done, the enemy made no further stand, but abandoned the entire field.
Thus ended the battle of Cold Harbor, in which this brigade bore an honorable part, sustaining a loss there of about 500 killed and wounded. That night, with the other troops, we bivouacked on the field.
The next morning about 10 a.m. we moved with the other troops in the direction of the Grapevine Bridge to Turkey Hill. Finding the bridge destroyed and that the enemy had some force and a battery on the other side, we were halted and drawn up in line of battle on the left of the road, while several of our batteries shelled the supposed position of the enemy.
We were delayed at this point during that day and the next. On the morning of the ---, the Grapevine Bridge being rebuilt and the road clear, this brigade, with the rest of the division, crossed, and, moving across the line of the York River road, struck into the road to Bottom's Bridge, down which we proceeded, capturing prisoners, &c., until we turned to the right, following the course of the enemy, and took the road crossing the White Oak Swamp and running into the Long Bridge road. Upon reaching the White Oak Swamp we found the bridge destroyed and the enemy drawn up in a strong position on the other side with artillery. The infantry being kept under cover, our artillery was brought up in force and opened on the enemy with marked effect. They withdrew their battery to a safer position.
At this point we were delayed another day until the enemy retired and the bridge over the White Oak Swamp was rebuilt.
Crossing next morning, we followed up the retreat of the enemy toward James River into the Long Bridge road and then into the Quaker road toward Turkey Bridge.
At Malvern Hill the enemy made their last stand, with several batteries and two lines of infantry in a commanding position. Our own infantry were put under cover near the road, waiting to observe the effect of the fire of our artillery, this brigade lying behind that of General Ripley, in reserve, with Colquitt's still in our rear. The concentrated fire of two of the enemy's batteries from the hill was too heavy for the single battery (Moorman's) which we opposed to them.
Late in the afternoon orders were communicated that the commander-in-chief had selected a position from which our artillery could enfilade the enemy's batteries; that the effect of our fire could be seen, and that when the enemy's guns were crippled or silenced a general advance of the infantry would be ordered. The enfilading fire soon commenced, and the commander of this division, accompanied by several of the brigade commanders, including the writer, went to a point from which the effect could be observed. So far from producing marked effect, the firing was so wild that we were returning to our posts under the impression that no movement of infantry would be ordered, when suddenly one or two brigades, belonging to a division on our right (either Magruder's or Huger's), charged out of the woods toward the right with a shout. Major-General Hill at once exclaimed, "That must be the general advance! Bring up your brigades as soon as possible and join in it." Hurrying back to my own brigade, I moved it down the road by the flank to the edge of the field over which the enemy's batteries were playing and filing out to my right formed line of battle. I was then ordered to advance and charge the batteries, which were some 800 or 900 yards off on a commanding hill, straight to the front, supported by two lines of infantry. There was no cover, and the ground nearest the enemy was plowed. Anderson's, Ripley's, and Rodes' brigades, Gordon commanding, had proceeded farther down the road, thus keeping under partial cover, and approaching somewhat nearer and on the right of the enemy's position. When ordered forward I saw no troops of our own in front of me.
The brigade moved forward with alacrity about half way to the battery or nearer, when the terrible fire of artillery and the opening fire of the infantry induced it to halt, lie down, and commence firing without my orders and contrary to them. The fire of the enemy was very severe, and being satisfied that the exhibition of force presented by a single brigade on that front was not sufficient to intimidate the foe nor to carry the position, I sent my acting aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Haywood, to inform Maj. Gen. D.H. Hill that unless I was re-enforced quickly I could effect nothing, and could not hold the position I then occupied. After some delay a brigade appeared from the woods in my rear and seemed coming up to my support. But their movements seemed slow, and before they reached me my men began to give way, and very many ceased to respond to my efforts to hold them in line and maintain the position. Remaining on the spot until, in spite of every effort, the men could no longer be held there, the brigade fell back to the edge of the woods from which we had started.
It is not my desire to indulge in criticism or crimination. It is enough to say that there was somehow a want of concert and co-operation in the whole affair that made a successful attack impracticable and the consequent disorder and straggling of troops most lamentable. My own brigade went up as far as any troops I saw upon the field and behaved as well. If they retired, so did all the rest who were ordered to charge the battery. The whole division became scattered.
As night closed in General Ripley, Colonels Gordon and Colquitt (commanding brigades), and myself set to work in concert to collect our commands together, and bivouacked them in a place of security. Next morning we found that the enemy were themselves so far damaged by the previous day's work that they had retreated from Malvern Hill. Having gotten our commands together during the day, suitable details were made for burying the dead.
This brigade, along with the rest of the division, was now put in bivouac near the scene of the late battle-fields, with orders to collect the arms and munitions, get off the wounded, the prisoners, &c. I had neglected to say that Colonel McRae, of the Fifth North Carolina, with his own regiment and the Fourth North Carolina, of Anderson's Brigade, had been previously ordered back upon similar duties nearer to Richmond. They were not present at Malvern Hill. These duties being all discharged, and our army receiving orders to return toward Richmond, this brigade, along with the division, returned to its old position near the Williamsburg road.
It affords me pleasure to testify to the general good conduct of the regimental commanders of this brigade throughout these trying scenes. Colonel McRae, absent from Malvern Hill under orders, exhibited his accustomed gallantry and good judgment at Cold Harbor, rendering me material assistance in looking after the left of my line. Colonel Scales, Thirteenth North Carolina, was conspicuous for his fine bearing. Seizing the colors of his regiment at a critical moment at Cold Harbor, and advancing to the front, he called upon the Thirteenth to stand to them, thus restoring confidence and keeping his men in position. Colonel Iverson was seriously wounded at an early period while gallantly leading up his regiment to take the battery at the house on the left at Cold Harbor. This movement seems to have been ordered by the division commander. The Twentieth North Carolina, after Colonel [Alfred] Iverson was wounded, was led by Lieut. Col. Franklin J. Faison. It advanced gallantly and took the battery, which it held for ten minutes. The gallant Faison received a mortal wound in the very act of turning one of the captured pieces upon the fleeing foe and breathed out his noble spirit in the moment of victory. He was greatly beloved and his memory will be cherished with veneration and pride.
Having sustained a loss of 70 killed and 202 wounded in this charge, which was temporarily successful, the enemy soon returned in larger force, and this regiment, having no supports, retired, under orders from Major [William H.]Toon, to the cover of the wood out of which it had charged.
Colonel [Benjamin O.]Wade, Twelfth North Carolina, conducted his regiment with coolness and discretion.
Colonel Christie, Twenty-third North Carolina, had the misfortune to be wounded in the successful charge at Cold Harbor while leading his regiment and bearing himself handsomely, when the command of this regiment again fell upon Lieut. I.J. Young, who had been in command during the absence of Colonel Christie from the effect of his injuries at the Seven Pines. I desire to notice the conduct of Lieutenant Young as worthy of special commendation. He was severely wounded at Malvern Hill while leading his regiment and compelled to retire.
In the absence of three regimental commanders, who led the Thirteenth, Twentieth, and Twenty-third North Carolina in the recent engagements, the regimental reports of those commands refrain from the selection of the names of particular officers and men for special gallantry.
Colonel McRae presents the following from the Fifth North Carolina as deserving special mention at Cold Harbor, viz: Maj. P.J. Sinclair, wounded early and compelled to retire; Lieutenants Riddick, Sprague, Davis, Brookfield (severely wounded), Taylor, and Haywood; Color-Sergeant Grimstead, wounded, and Privates Noah McDaniel, who captured 7 prisoners, and John Trotman.
Colonel Wade, Twelfth North Carolina, mentions the good conduct of Lieutenant Plummer, Company C, and Private T.L. Emory, Company G. 
My personal staff during these engagements consisted of Capt. Charles Wood, assistant adjutant-general, and Lieuts. R.D. Early and F.M. Haywood, jr., the last at Malvern Hill only. I can most sincerely testify to their gallantry and intelligence. Lieutenant Early was severely wounded and Captain Wood had his horse instantly killed under him by a solid shot.
I present a succinct statement of killed and wounded and file lists of the same by name.
I have the honor to subscribe myself, major, your obedient servant,
S. Garland, Jr.,
Brig. Gen., Comdg. Third Brigade, Third Division.

Major Ratchford,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Series I. Vol. XI (Part II) Ch. XXIII. Pgs. 639-645.