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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 275 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Colonel Woodbury, Second Brigade, and retired to its brigade. The Fourteenth New York Volunteers, Colonel McQuade, Second Brigade, with a section of Weeden's battery, was placed in the edge of the field, between the Richmond road and Dr. J. H. Mellert's house, facing to the west, to watch the road and valley and protect our left. The First and Third Brigades were under cover of a narrow strip of woods which skirts the Quaker road after it turns to the east. The artillery in front was placed under command of General Griffin. Berdan's Sharpshooters were thrown forward as skirmishers, under Lieutenant-Colonel Ripley. Shells were thrown into the woods where the enemy were supposed to be approaching and forming, to which they replied on my right front, but on my left front and left maintained an ominous silence.

About 10 o'clock an attack was made upon General Couch's right by a moderate force, which was repelled by his batteries and those in my front. Satisfied that a heavy attack was impending, and my First and Third Brigades being too far to the right and rear to render prompt assistance, about 11 a.m. I moved the First, General Martindale, into Mellert's field, immediately north of the Richmond road, an the Third General Butterfield, in its rear on the south side, both in close order, making the men lie down, in which position, while sheltered by the rise of the ground in front from all except vertical fire, they were near at hand to support Griffin's brigade, directly in front, Couch's division on the right, or to meet an attack on the left. Further, to guard against accident, I directed Generals Martindale and Butterfield to support General Griffin, if he called for assistance, and each other, without waiting for further orders, if the emergency required it. Sykes' division and the Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, under General Seymour, were in reserve. General Couch was on my right, on the east side of the Quaker road.

The batteries first in position were Captains Edwards' and Livingston's, Third U. S. Artillery; Lieutenant Kingsbury's (D) and Lieutenant Ames' (A) Fifth U. S. Artillery; part of Captain Weeden's (C), First Rhode Island; part of Captain Allen's (E) Massachusetts, Lieutenant Hude commanding, and Captain Bramhall's New York, which were relieved by others whose designation I am unable to give.

About 12 o'clock the enemy advanced against my left front and some two hours later against my right, but were driven off by the fire of the artillery, the infantry not being engaged. Neither of these attacks was vigorously pressed, and I considered them demonstrations made to feel our position prior to the commencement of more serious work. There was now a cessation of firing till near 5.30 o'clock p.m., when they made their most determined attack. It was begun by a heavy fire of artillery from the front of my division and of Couch's, producing a serious cross-fire over my two rear brigades, which were concealed and partially covered by the undulation of the ground. While this was in progress I received notice from Lieutenant-Colonel Ripley, of the Sharpshooters, that a considerable body of the enemy were stealthily making their way along the valley to attack my left and rear. I had been on the lookout for such a movement, but a growth of bushes and a light mist floating a few feet above the ground completely concealed it. I cautioned Colonel McQuade, Fourteenth New York Volunteers, to be prepared; ordered General Martindale, the left of whose brigade was immediately in his rear, to wheel the Thirteenth New York, Major Schoeffel, to the left to his support; directed General Butterfield to be ready, and dispatched a note to General Porter apprising him of my


Page 275 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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