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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 228 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

safety. I moved the command at sundown that evening on New Market road from White Oak Swamp, but, ignorant of the country, having but one guide, we were misled that night and did not succeed in reaching our destination until the following morning at 9 o'clock, where I had two hours earlier selected a position on Malvern Hill west of Turkey Bridge. This hill commanded all the roads leading from Richmond and Chickahominy Swamp to James River which converge at Turkey Bridge. Here as soon as possible were posted the two divisions, thoroughly covering the River road and the debouches from the New Market, Charles City, and Williamsburg roads. Warren's brigade, of Sykes' division, was posted in the valley of the creek, across the River road, to prevent the left flank from being turned by an advance from Richmond along the road. Through the command thus posted passed in safety the supply trains of many of the divisions and the reserve artillery of the army, the current only creasing to flow at about 4 o'clock p. m. 30th of June.

At about this hour the enemy began to appear and to feel our front, and about 5 o'clock showed themselves in large force, advancing upon our left flank. Under the cover of the woods skirting the River road the enemy planted his artillery to engage our main force on Malvern Hill, while his infantry, with some artillery, moved direct upon Colonel Warren, with whom he was soon engaged.

The enemy's demonstration soon brought upon him the concentrated fire of some thirty guns, together with the infantry fire of Colonel Warren's troops. Under these influences the force which had advanced against that part of our line incontinently retreated, leaving two guns in the hands of Colonel Warren and numerous evidences of the destructiveness of the artillery which crowned the crest of Malvern Hill.

In this connection should be mentioned with due acknowledgment the help of the gunboats, whose well-directed fire of heavy shell gave the very greatest support, moral and physical, to the efforts by which this determined onslaught was repulsed. The assaulting column is understood to have consisted of 15,000 men, under General Henry A. Wise, being part or the whole of the division commanded by General Holmes. This is known as the battle of Turkey Bridge.

While the battle was taking place, McCall's division, posted on the New Market road to cover the withdrawal of our trains, was attacked by the enemy in immense force. He maintained his place till night-fall, when the surviving portion of his command rejoined the corps, coming in under the command of Brigadier-General Seymour, the only remaining general officer on duty. I have here to regret the loss of Brigadier-General McCall, commanding division, taken prisoner, and of the services of Brigadier-General Meade, severely wounded, and of many other valuable field and line officers, as well as many brave men.

This action (the battle of New Market road) lasted from about 4 p. m. till after dark, during which period the remainder of the trains of the whole army had successfully passed the contested point and reached a place of safety within the interior lines of the army. To Generals McCall's, Meade's, and Seymour's reports, to be made and forwarded hereafter, I must refer for the details of the battle of New Market road, and to Generals Couch and Warren for those of Turkey Bridge.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

F. J. PORTER,

Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Army of the Potomac.


Page 228 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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