Thursday, May 26, 2011
Heros aren't hard to find! North or South!
Sgt Furney Rryant
1st NC Colord troops.
A Diary of the War; or What I Saw of It.
By Wm. S. White, Third Richmond Howitzers.
FIGHTING AT THE McCoul HOUSE AND LAUREL HILL CHURCH,
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th 1864 —JAMES RIVER, NORTH SIDE.
Early this morning the enemy broke through our lines near or rather between the Drill and McCoul houses, a short distance to the right of New Market Hill, on which the Rockbridge Artillery was posted. Our first section. Lieutenant Carter commanding,
was on picket some two hundred and fifty yards to the right of the McCoul House, whilst the " left " or second section was back in battalion camp near the Henrico poor-house and under command of Lieutenant W. P. Payne.
When the enemy pierced our lines near the McCoul House our first section engaged them until it was compelled to retire for want of proper support—our infantry force being very weak This section moved towards Richmond, halting for a time where the New Market road is crossed by what is known as the second line of entrenchments. At this latter point it was joined by the second section—here no stand could be made on account of Fort
Harrison, on the same line and but a short distance to the right, having been captured by the enemy and almost without a struggle on the part of our troops. Our company then fell back towards Laurel Hill Church, and after some little marching and countermarching went into position at that place, supported, and that too most gallantly, by Gary's cavalry brigade.
The enemy, advancing in heavy column, were driven back from the front, but having great preponderance of numbers completely flanked this small Confederate force left to hold them in check. Our troops fell back rapidly to the main line on the New Market road, and shortly afterwards my company went into position on the left of Fort Gilmer, but did not reach that point until the enemy had charged the position and had been repulsed. Directly in front of Fort Gilmer was a ditch some twelve feet deep, and as
no earth was banked around it, it could not be seen fifty yards, though it could be easily flanked by going either to the right or left of it.
A negro brigade charged this fort squarely to the front and when they came to this ditch hundreds jumped into it, not one of whom got out alive, for our men rolled hand grenades in upon them and not one was left to tell how the white men refused to charge it and they made the attempt.