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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 274 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

supported by General Newton's brigade and by part of the Pennsylvania Reserves, under General Meade. About 2 o'clock a.m. the 28th, Saturday, pursuant to orders, we crossed the Chickahominy via Alexander's Bridge, and bivouacked near the late general headquarters, on Dr. Trent's farm.

At 2 o'clock p.m., by General Porter's orders, I marched with my division to Savage Station, and reported to General Marcy, chief of staff, who directed me to push on immediately, cross the White Oak Swamp, aid General Woodbury's engineers in constructing a bridge, and support General Keyes. I crossed the swamp, bivouacked before sunset on the south side on Britton's farm, reported to General Keyes, who saw a mile and a half in advance, and furnished a detail of 500 men to General Woodbury, by whom the bridge and causeway over the swamp were completed.

Early next morning, the 29th (Sunday), firing was heard in the direction of James River and Richmond, and a message from General Keyes directed me to move up so as to be in a position to support him if necessary. The firing, however, soon ceased. While my division was getting in motion General McClellan and staff arrived, followed soon after by General Porter, under whose direction I proceeded up the Long Bridge, or New Market, road a short distance beyond its junction with the Charles City and Quaker roads, and formed partial line of battle, facing toward Richmond. The day passed quietly, and at daylight on the 30th (Monday) I started for Turkey Bridge and James River via the Quaker road and Malvern Hill, and bivouacked about 10 a.m. on the bank of the river below the bridge, but was soon recalled to Malvern Hill, as the enemy was approaching.

Near a mile north from Malvern house is a large cultivated field, stretching about three-fourths of a mile from south to north and one-fourth from east to west. It lies on the west side of the Quaker road and north side of one know to us as the Richmond road, which, beginning at a point where the Quaker road turns sharply to the east, descends along a depression of the grounds and runs first westerly then across a valley southwesterly till it intersects the River road to Richmond. On the west is a valley some 800 or 1,000 yards wide, which, sweeping around the westerly base of Malvern Hill, extends to the river. For 100 yards from the Richmond road the ground rises gradually to the height of about 40 feet, and then gently descends to the woods, which bound the field on the north and for some distance on the east. These woods extend also westerly across the valley and along its west side. On the west edge of the field, not far from the Richmond road and overlooking the field and valley, is a large white house, Dr. J. H. Mellert's at which were my headquarters. My division occupied the extreme left of the line, and in this field bore its part in the battle of Malvern.

The Second Brigade, General Griffin, was ordered to the front. The artillery advanced toward the woods, and was supported on the left by the Ninth Massachusetts, Colonel Cass, and Sixty-second Pennsylvania, Captain Hull, and on the right by part of Couch's division. While getting into position a few casualties were caused by shot thrown from a battery on our left and rear and on the opposite side of the valley, which, however, was soon silenced by guns near Malvern house. At evening the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, Captain Campbell, Third Brigade, was sent forward to the left of the batteries, and in this position we passed the night on our arms. Early in the morning of July 1 (Tuesday) the Eighty-third was relieved by the Fourth Michigan,


Page 274 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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