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THE IRON HEARTED REGIMENT

SIEGE OF THE CHICKAHOMINY.
June 2.--Under a heavy cross fire until 8 A.M., when we were relieved. At 5 P.M. the 115th took the front again, and held the skirmish line at night.

"The attempt on the part of General Smith to carry one of the enemy's salients in his front on Thursday night, resulted in more casualties than was at first believed. Not less than 150 men were wounded, principally by shells, and with scarcely an exception the injuries were of the most terrible character.

"The officer upon whom the blame is thrown for the miscarriage of the plan is Colonel Willam E. Barton, commanding Second Brigade, Turner's Division, 10th Corps, which is on duty before Petersburg. The attack was intended as a surprise, and orders were issued to the brigade commander to move cautiously forward, one company at a time under cover of a piece of woods on the left of the line. Instead of obeying these orders, Colonel Barton is charged with moving his brigade directly over the breastworks in a field fully exposed to the view of the enemy. This singular action, of course, showed the rebels that some movement was on foot, and they immediately opened a heavy artillery fire from their batteries on the left bank of the Appomattox. General Smith immediately ordered the troops to withdraw, and abandon for the time the effort to advance his lines. Colonel Barton I understand, has been placed under arrest, and his conduct will be inquired into. He handled his brigade very gallantly at Coal Harbor, and was officially complemented therefor by General Smith, while his services for more than two years in the department of the south, at Fort Wagner, Olustee and elsewhere, were quite creditable.

"In the affair, General Smith narrowly escaped being a victim to the sharpshooters. Captain Butler, one of the General's aids, was badly wounded in the knee while standing by his side in conversation with him."

"Forward, hundred and fifteenth!" rang along the line. The regiment, and then the whole brigade sweep forward with a deafening yell.

New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: March 19, 2006
URL: http://www.dmna.state.ny.us/historic/reghist/civil/infantry/115thInf/115thInfIronHeartedChapter6.htm

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