Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 01.djvu/77

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Seven Days Battles.

sent to the left to protect against a flank movement which the enemy seemed to threaten. Only one of Gregg's regiments (the Fourteenth South Carolina) was sharply engaged, however, the rest of the brigade being disposed on the flank. This conflict was maintained in unabated fury until after dark, neither party making a charge.[1]

Meanwhile Wilcox's brigade continued to move forward against the battery (Cooper's) which had been charged by Jenkins, with the exception of his left regiment (the Eighth Alabama), which became involved in the fight on the left and halted with Pryor's brigade. The remaining regiments, on clearing the woods, received a terrible fire from the guns and infantry on each side of the Long Bridge road, but without halting a moment they dashed upon the batteries at the double-quick in magnificent style, no longer in ranks, but holding well together and cheering, but not stopping to fire. On the right of the road (where Jenkins had charged before) the enemy did not wait for close quarters, and Cooper's battery was again taken. On the left of the road, the Eleventh Alabama had to traverse an open space of six hundred yards before reaching the battery in its front (Randall's), but advancing rapidly through a terrible discharge of canister and musketry, it pressed up to the very muzzles of the guns, where it exchanged one volley with the Fourth and Seventh Pennsylvania, of Meade's brigade (McCall's division), and then charged upon them with the bayonet. A desperate hand-to-hand fight occurred, in which the Alabamians were victorious, and drove their opponents into the woods a short distance in rear of the guns. No reinforcements, however, coming to their support, and being subjected to a severe cross-fire from the front and left, the ground affording no shelter, the battery could not long be held. The gallant regiment, therefore, at length retired, unpursued and slowly, from its bloody prize, and crossing the road, joined in the woods on the right the two regiments which had captured Cooper's battery, and which had also at last been compelled to retire, for lack of support, from heavy attacks by fresh troops. In this assault Wilcox's brigade carried in about 1,200 men (including the Eighth Alabama, which did not charge

  1. At one time, just after dark, both parties ceased fire under the impression that they were firing upon friends, and a Yankee officer of the Twentieth Indiana rode up to the Fourteenth South Carolina and asked the name of the regiment. He was captured, and all doubt being removed, firing was recommenced and continued until after all other parts of the field were silent. The Fourteenth South Carolina lost 76 men in this action out of about 200 engaged.