AT MR. ANDERSON’S, Richmond, June 27, 1864.
MY DEAR GENERAL: Your telegram of yesterday evening asking for a full report in regard to placing two regiments on the 16th instant is at hand. I will give you every circumstance attending their movement so far as I know, but fear it will not be to you as satisfactory as you could wish. You remember sending me (while with you in the outer fortification) to stop the firing of a battery that was throwing shells in our midst. On my way back I saw General Beauregard, and informed him of our position and the want of support on our right, and asked him if he could not spare as much as regiments to post in the strip of woods to our rear, fronting west and perpendicular to our lines. He immediately ordered them from General Colquitt. The regiments were ready instantly. My horse being swamped, and the one General B[eauregard] sent for me not having arrived, the two regiments moved off in the direction I had indicated under the immediate guidance of Lieutenant Witherspoon, of Seventeenth and Twenty-third [Tennessee], who posted them in the strip of woods in rear of the houses. I am not informed my whom they were commanded or the part taken by them after being placed in position. They must have been under the immediate supervision of General Beauregard. Subsequently I saw General Hagood and asked him to throw his right parallel with the turnpike to resist the movement of the enemy on our flank. I think he placed it behind the houses, but it was not engaged, the enemy having retired before it got into position. I wish I could see you and give you a more full and lucid idea of what I saw and did. I am satisfied your command was never in so critical a position as it was shortly after it occupied the outer line of works, which we would certainly have abandoned but for your characteristic tenacity to hold what you get. You are not probably aware that at this juncture some 200 of your men on the right gave way and retired on the pike to a point beyond the strip of woods, where I afterward found them and brought them back to the command. They were mainly from the Forty fourth and Sixty-third [Tennessee]. Lieutenant Witherspoon may be able to give you further details. I regret I cannot give them more fully.
I am doing excellently well. My friends, and particularly the family with whom I am staying, seem tireless in their endeavors to render my condition comfortable. I think under such favorable auspices that I will be able for duty at no distant day. With my patent leg containing the requisite amount of “warm water” therein the most fastidious maiden would fail to detect the deception. I wish you would try and get up to see me. You would have the kindest attention from the family here. Please write to me whenever you can.
Truly, your friend,
W. T. BLAKEMORE.
General B. R. JOHNSON.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), page 794 ↩