In obedience to Orders, I have the honor to submit the following report of the actions of the 44th Georgia, Company C., during September 11 – 13 inclusive. Captain Clark J. VanBuskirk, Lady Elizabeth Van Buskirk and mascot Rebel arrived in the Village of Cold Spring during the afternoon of the 10th in the area near the Mechanics Hall.
By nightfall Friday the Company street had expanded with the arrival of additional troops and remained active until near midnight.
By Saturday morning the Company had expanded to include seven rifles, and prepared to combine with additional companies of the 5th regiment for an engagement with a small contingent of Union soldiers that was rumored to be making camp nearby.
Around one o’clock in the afternoon we prepared for action but were ordered to stand down due to inclement weather coming through the area. As treacherous as the forecast was there was greater concern for a particularly suspicious citizen circulating through the Confederate camp, who bore great resemblance to a “dual-agent” seen in Virginia in early April.
Sunday we arose taking advantage of the coffee and pastries offered in the Village and by late morning a contingent of volunteers had gathered and formed up in response to a report from nearby artillery.
Our forces were divided and ventured into the village where we were greeted by a larger force of Union soldiers, skirmished amongst the structures and taking refuge behind trees, barrels and upended benches. For twenty minutes we were engaged with the opposition who drove our forces eastward, taking considerable losses. Private Keith VanBuskirk emptied his rifle into one Yankee, then made a gallant charge at a second kneeling Blue Coat, using his bayonet to dispatch his foe to the afterlife. Captain VanBuskirk made full use of his pistol and the air was heavy with smoke from the volleys being unleashed by each side. Outmanned we made a stand near the schoolhouse until Union artillery was wheeled into our fore. A unit to my left made a desperate charge on the Union left and were cut down, signaling the end of the confrontation and we returned to our camps.
Shortly afterwards we again formed up, this time in full force. As was done in the morning, the force was split and we encountered the opposition on two fronts.
Furious fire was employed by both sides and the Company performed well. We faced off against the 6th Wisconsin, 7th New Jersey and 69th Pennsylvania, amongst others. DeBreveted Sergeant Mallete barked the firing orders and discharged his weapon expertly. In the heat of the battle Captain Van Buskirk also secured a weapon and joined us by releasing a volley upon the bluebellies.
The heated barrels bore evidence of the pace of the conflict and cartridge boxes were lightened at a heavy pace. The unrelenting fire from the Southern forces left many a blue stain on the grounds at Cold Spring.
A full retreat of the Lincoln boys ended the confrontation and we returned, victorious in our effort, to our camp.
It was disclosed to us, prior to breaking camp, that Corporal McLean had indeed been a casualty of the Saturday battles, ending his streak of surviving engagements unscathed.
Gentlemen of the 44th, let us bask in our victory, until we again hear the call “To Arms !”.
Corp. Jim Marshall, 44th Georgia Vol. Inf, Co. C