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History of Cambria County, V.2

HISTORY OF CAMBRIA COUNTY. 69
Reserves, from Ebensburg, was with McClellan in this campaign from June 18. The 11th Reserves were then commanded by Col. Thomas Gallagher, of Westmoreland county, and were a part of the Second Brigade, under Gen. George G. Meade, in the Pennsylvania Reserve Division known as McCall's Division, commanded by Gen. Truman Seymore; however, at this time the division was assigned to the Fifth Corps, under Gen. Fitz John Porter.
    When Gen. Stonewall Jackson appeared on McClellan's right on June 25th, the latter had but one corps in position on the north side of the Chickahominy river, and it was Porter's (Co. A) which was on the extreme right of the line at Mechanicsville and Beaver Dam Creek. Gen. Lee made an attack, and McClellan fell back to Gaines' Mill. The firing was kept up till 9 p.m. McClellan lost 350 men. Gen. Longstreet says the Confederates lost between 3,000 and 4,000, and adds, “next to Malvern Hill, the Confederates' sacrifice at Beaver Dam was unequaled in demoralization during the entire summer.”
    Gen. Porter's Fifth Corps (Co. A) were the only troops on the north side of the Chickahominy river until 4 o'clock on the 27th, when the battle was over, with Company A prisoners, and Capt. Lewis, of Ebensburg, killed. Lee's forces were in front of Porter at 2 o'clock, when the fight began, and considering the inequality of the number of men opposing, it was a fierce contest. Lee had 57,000 men, while Porter had but 34,000. The line of battle was in a semi-circle, but to understand the situation the following is substantially the formation:

Lee.
Right.   Longstreet.     A. P. Hill.     Jackson.     Ewell.     D. H. Hill.   Left.
Left.
Morell.           Sykes.
Right
McCall's Division.
Company A.

    Capt. Lewis' Company A was in Gen. Meade's brigade of McCall's division, which was in reserve for a short time, but it soon became fiercely engaged. When Porter's line was broken and fell back, the 11th Reserves and the 4th New Jersey were in a clump of woods, fighting with their usual energy. The retreat was so sudden that notice was not given to these regiments to fall back, and they kept up the incessant firing until they were completely surrounded and captured. It is said that Gen. Stonewall Jackson carried his colors while making the capture. About 200 of the 11th Reserves who had been detailed


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Created: 16 Mar 2003, Last Updated: 30 Mar 2008
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