Whispers from the Campfire — Writings of the men of the 7th Tennessee

Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The 7th Tennessee lost 37 men during the 7 Days Battle.


150 years ago several 7th Tennesseans wrote about the 7 Days battle:

Here are their words —

26 June 1862:

John Williams (Co. D)[Mechanicsville, VA] “… We remained at the place near Richmond doing picket duty up to the time the fight commenced. … The next day we got orders to be ready to move as soon as dark closed on us. This was done to keep the enemy from learning what we were doing. Dark came and we were call into line. We marched off in the direction of Richmond. We moved around on the Meadow Bridge Road and came to a halt a little before day light. We lay down and took a short nap of sleep and were called up at day light to form our Brigade and await orders. We lay in this condition until 12 o’clock. We got orders to take up the line of march. We moved off in the direction of the Meadow Bridge. It wasn’t long before we came in sight of the Brigade. I thought we would have a fight some time before we got across the bridge but there had been a detachment of men sent up the river to cross and flank them. This they did before we got orders to leave …


When we arrived at the Bridge we found no difficulty in crossing. We marched about a half mile and then got orders to halt and load our guns, which we did. After doing this we marched off in the same direction. As we were going … for about a mile-and-half we then got orders to lay off our Blankets and knapsacks. We had not more than done this until off went a canon to our left.


I then knew that we were near the enemy. After laying off our Baggage we were ordered into line. After all had got in we went off at the Double quick. It wasn’t long before we came in range of the enemy’s canon. We continued at a Double quick under full range of them for 3/4 of a mile. No one got hurt while under this cannonading. We arrived at Mechanicsville, there we got under a heavy cross fire from the enemy. At this place our Brigade filed off to the left and went down into a hollow and then ascended a hill.


Just upon the top of this hill our men came in full range of the enemy’s small arms. Then they went to work. This was about 2 o’clock when we arrived at the top of the hill and we fought until close to dark, neither party gaining any ground. The enemy fled during the night and burned up all their commissary…”


Elijah H. Knight, (Co. B) – [Gainesville, VA] – “…My brother James Knight [Co. B] was wounded at Gainesville during the 7 Days battle … he died in Richmond…”


Joseph Peter Bashaw, (Co. I) – [Mechanicsville, VA] – “…we lost from our company three killed by an explosion of a shell, and several wounded, I being one of the wounded…”


27 June 1862:

Joseph Peter Bashaw, (Co. I) – [Mechanicsville, VA] – “…we lost Captain Curd, killed…”

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