“Thursday. Clear and warm. All our baggage was sent to Manassas this morning and every preparation made for battle,” Quartermaster clerk William H. Hill of the Spartan Band recorded on June 26, 1862.
After several days of picket duty and some skirmishing, which included moving camp from Garnett’s Farm to the 4 mile post on the York River railroad, the 13th Regiment struck its camp on the railroad and moved to near Nine Mile Road where they camped again in line of battle.
“A heavy engagement commenced at 3 p.m. on our left near Mechanicsville,” Hill continued, “which lasted until time near after dark. General Longstreet and General A.P. Hill’s Divisions men engaged and Gen. [Stonewall] Jackson is reported in the enemy’s rear. The roar of battle continued from commencement to the end.”
Minutemen of Attala Private Mike Hubbert added: “It was a magnificent scene to see the shells burst in the elements after dark and the continual flash of musketry.”
It was only a prelude. The Seven Days battles were underway. For the 13th Regiment, they would include a brief fight at Garnett’s Farm the next day, June 27, another one on June 29 at Savage Station, and their first serious bloodletting on July 1 at Malvern Hill.