Head Quarters 7th Regt. N.C. Troops
July 29th 1864
Captn E.J. Hale Jr.
I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this regiment on yesterday. Early in the morning orders were received from Brigade Head Qrs to be in readiness to move at a moments notice and about 5 oclock A.M. we moved by the left flank in the direction of Russels Mill. Crossing the creek at that point came up with the enemy in a strip of woods about two miles beyond it. Three Companies were sent to protect the left flank under command of Lieut. Deans, and three Companies commanded by Capt J.S. Harris were ordered to support the line of skirmishers. Line of battle was then formed perpendicular to the road the left of the 7th resting on the road. In a few minutes, we moved forward passing through a dense swamp and attacked the enemy posted in a field in front of our line. We drove him across the field and a mile, when the whole line halted and kept up a fire for about 20 minutes. In moving across the field the Brigade moved to the right and left a space of about 50 yards between my right and the left of the 18th. After remaining there about 20 minutes as stated above the right of the Brigade was discovered falling back rapidly and the enemy pressing forward on my right flank. General Connor ordered a line to be formed perpendicular to the old line which I succeeded in partially doing with my regiment but the enemy advanced in such force and my lines were so short as to compel me to fall back together with the right of McGowan's brigade to the extent of 200 yards
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where the line was rallied for a short time-the enemy continued to press our right as to compel the line to fall back a second time several hundred yards into the woods where it was so scattered as to render it impossible to form another line sufficient to make any further resistance.
I Am Captain Very Respy
Your Obt. Srvt
J.S. Harris Capt
Comdg 7th Regt NC Troops
Hd Qrs 18th N.C. Regt
July 29th 1864
In compliance with circular just received I have the honor to submit for your inspection the following report of the part borne by the 18th N.C. Regiment while under my command in the Engagement of yesterday, I received orders about 7 oclock yesterday morning the 28th to follow the 7th N C Regiment moving left in front. At about 12 oclock M. I received orders to form my command into Line of Battle on the right of the 7th Regiment and shortly afterwards orders to conform to movements of the left which was the directing flank. About this time the order to advance was given and my command advanced until I found that the troops on my right & left were falling back and on the right that the enemy were advancing in such a manner as to cut off my Regiment if I remained longer in the position I then occupied. I then gave the order for the Regiment to fall back. The Enemy were then formed in a Line at nearly right angles to the Line I had previously occupied, and were not more than seventy (70) yards distant and my Regiment had to fall back under a most galling fire, and I fear that several of my men who are now missing were either wounded or killed as several were to start to fall back and have not been seen since. Among this number was the Color Bearer Corp Barefoot of the Color Guard who had the colors. The Color Seargt was wounded early in the Engagement and Corp Barefoot received the colors and bore them at the front until I ordered the Regiment to retreat. The Conduct of both officers and men in my Regiment needs no comments further than that they acted in a manner both credible to themselves as Soldiers and as North Carolinians. Among the casualties was 2nd Lieut F.J. Simpson Comdg Co. H who was killed while gallantly leading his men forward.
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A young officer of high promise and unsurpassed gallantry his fall is a serious loss to his Regiment his Company and his friends.
The casualties were as follows
|Com'd Off.||Non Com||P[rivates]||Total|
[To:] Capt E.J. Hale Jr. A.A. Gen
Very Respectfully Your Obdt Srvt
John W. McGill
Lanes Brigade Lt. Col Comdg 18th N.C.T.
Camp 28th NCT
July 31st 1864
Capt. E.J. Hale Jr
I beg leave to make the following report of the part taken by my Regt in the engagement of the 28th inst. My Regt was formed in line of battle with my left on 37th N.C.T. my right on the 33rd NC.T. [I]n that manner my Regt moved forward with the Brig. [I]n moving forward my Reg. came in contact with the enemy in a very thick swamp but drove them out into a cornfield[. I]n getting through the swamp the Reg't was broken up in formation to some extent, but reformed to some degree after getting into the corn field[. M]y men pressed the enemy Through the cornfield under a heavy fire, the right of my Regt passing along a fence running to the South East. My right flank was fired into before I crossed the swamp. [A]fter getting into the cornfield and passing through it into an open untended field my Regt was exposed very heavily to a flank fire for over one fourth of a mile[. H]aving driven the enemy to the top of a hill at the far side of the field my men came suddenly on a heavy force of the enemy & was driven back to a fence when I suceeded in rallying a portion of my men with others of the Brig but was unable to hold this position long[. M]y orders were to be governed by the moves on the left and having no support now on my left flank and being flanked Thus by the enemy and being still exposed to the severe flank fire above mentioned, I ordered my men to fall back to a ridge to the rear where the Regt was reformed[. E]very thing was done by myself and officers to keep the men at their post. I never saw the men fight with more spirit and gallantry in my life. The Officers did their part nobly, and if properly supported, and not suffered to be flanked, there would have been no falling back. I lost two officers missing one (1) man killed fourteen (14) wounded, and twenty three (23) missing.
Very Respectfully your Obedient servant
W.H.A. Speer Lt Col
Hd Qrs 33rd N.C. Regt
July 29th 1864
In obedience to orders I beg leave to submit the following report of the part taken by the 33rd N.C. Regt in the action of the 28th inst At about 11 A.M.. Capt D.M. Corgin commanding me to move forward in line of battle on the right, the left connecting the right of the 28th NC Regt our right being the extreme right of the Brigade.
Soon after the line was forward Capt Corgin was ordered to throw forward a line of skirmishers And as soon as they had deployed the command was given The Brigade to forward double quick. We moved forward in double quick time driving the enemy before us until we reached the summit of the hill beyond the corn fields in which there were some log cabins. Here we were subject to an enfilade fire but held our position until attacked on the right flank & rear. I would here beg leave to state that the officers & men under my command acted most gallantly at this particular juncture fighting the enemy at about only ten paces distance some instances nearer. Here Capt C Corgin fell mortally wounded while cheering the men and encouraging my men by his own brave conduct. The enemy having succeeded by getting in our rear as well as our own right flank it became necessary to retreat in order to prevent their cutting off & capturing us
Had the commanders of the 37th & 28th Regts
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(Which were now moving froward apparently by the flank in rear of the right of the 33rd NC Regt) thrown forward their regiments in line of battle on a line with & on the right of the 33rd Regt our flank would thus have been protected, but as they did not do this they afforded me no assistance whatever
The regiment was rallied at lower edge of the corn field and immediately afterward given orders by Col. Cowan to fall back about sixty or seventy yards & form in line of battle perpendicular to the road leading to the corn field, which order was promptly executed.
I am Capt
Your Obdt Servant
Capt Commg Regt
Capt E.J. Hale Jr. Hd Qrs 37th N.C.T.
A.A. General August 3rd 1864
I respectfully submit the following report of the operations of the 37th Regt on the battle field on the 28th inst. In line of battle the 37th occupied a position immediately on the right of the 18th regt and on the left of the 28th in which order official orders were given to forward with the guide on the left and executed in good faith but in a short time the line became very much crowded so that giving way to the right did not seem to give room enough when orders were given by the Brigade Commander to march by the right flank which was repeated by me but rather badly executed owing to the right of the line not moving off by the flank, when the regt on my _____ broke in front of mine and I did the same thing as soon as I could get to where it was. In a very short time afterward the Brigade Commander gave the command forward double quick which caused the regts to lap over each other and my left was considerably covered by those on my left so that at the very time Col Cowan comdg Brigade happened to be present to whom I reported and I then received orders from him to move on to the right of the Brigade. Just at that time there was skirmishing going on and some artillery firing by the enemy and a attack along the line, besides the woods with undergrowth barring way, the Regt having previously instructed to move forward all of which made it difficult to get the regt on the right and [I] only succeeded in getting a portion to move to the right the rest having gone on with the Brigade and some became mixed up with McGowan's brigade. With that I could make understand to move to right of the brigade I march by the flank.
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to the right having just myself to brake them off from the line and just in the rear, and tell them all along the line what to do and before I had gone far I was fired into from the right & rear which confused the most of the man and made them think they were flanked . At the time I was between two corn fields near the end of a ridge which is between two swamps and as soon as I could get into line and find out which way to go I proceeded to cross the swamp on my left by the flank and did not get beyond the left corn field until the left were falling back after which I moved back on the same line so as to protect that flank and formed a skirmish line along a fence between two corn fields and sent a courier to report on this to Col Cowan and request orders when I was ordered to form on a country road to my rear and left which I did finding the Officers & men much scattered over the field there.
The regt was not taken into the fighting & unready to do good execution as a regt which condition which was owing to the mistaking notion of changing too soon a change in position in the excitement of the moment together with the great difference in the obstacles in the front which had to be passed over along the line. my casualties amont to thirty two among the No. Adjt. D.W. Oates, both wound & Capt. Lieut. G.W. McKee, wounded & killed. Ten captured and one missing which was owing to the right of the line being flanked near a swamp and a ravine full of under growth.
P.S. On 27th Ult. In a skirmish Sergt A. Green of Co. "G" was wounded -- J.S.B.J.S. Bost Maj
--Transcriptions made by Terri Stout-Stevens, Pfafftown, NC, in 1997 and 1998. Edited by Marty Olliff, Assistant Archivist, Auburn University, who takes all responsibility for any errors.
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