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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 295 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

by men. I halted him. He informed me that Generals Butterfield and Porter had just passed. Thereupon I gave the order to the Second Maine, then in advance, to move forward. We advanced, groping through the darkness. At length we emerged from the long defile and came opposite to the ground where we had encamped the previous day. There I found General Morell. The troops were retiring in great disorder. It was fortunate for us that we had whipped the rebels so soundly a few hours before. I found that the rear of my own brigade had been following the troops on the other side of the artillery where I had been halting and were already quite in advance of me. I went forward and joined General Porter. He stopped near Haxall's Landing. I proposed to remain with him. He did not desire it, and I went forward in company with his staff to Harrison's Landing. I came in front of a regiment encamped at Harrison's Landing, which proved to be the Eighteenth Massachusetts. The regiment had left their camp to join General Stoneman and proceed to White House on the morning of the 26th. They had destroyed and removed the stores at that depot, had gone down the York River to Fortress Monroe, and the night before, July 1, had come up the James River to Harrison's Bar. The rain had commenced to fall early in the morning and continued during most of the day. During the forenoon my brigade was encamped in closed proximity to the Eighteenth Massachusetts, over which regiment, from the time that I joined it, I resumed command as brigade commander. The continued rain and inpouring of troops, teams, and wagons were cutting up the soil, through which movement grew more and more difficult.

The following night was passed in great discomfort. The men were subsisting on hard bread and drinking polluted surface water.

The morning of the 3rd of July came. All ground us was a sea of deep mud, through which the mules were struggling and goaded to drag the loads behind them. At length there was the sound of cannon. The enemy were shelling us. I got my regiments into line of battle by battalions in mass, agreeably to orders. A few solid shot plowed the earth right in our midst, but without doing any damage, except in a single instance, where a shot went crushing through a transportation wagon. At length some troops (not of our division) were sent in the direction of the firing and the enemy retired. Then I moved my brigade about three-quarters of a mile into the edge of woods which bounded the broad plain at Harrison's Bar and skirted the Westover marshes. Our wagons reached us the following morning at about 10 o'clock July 4, and during that day our tents were pitched and camp established.

During the following night, agreeably to orders, my brigade was got in readiness to move, information having been communicated to me in orders that the enemy had appeared in force in our front and that the command must be on the alert.

Thus ended the succession of events commencing with the breaking up of the camps of my brigade in the valley of the Chickahominy and followed by the withdrawal of the Army of the Potomac to the James River.

I was immediately afterward taken sick with typhoid fever, and on the 11th of July separated from my brigade. Since my recovery I have been assigned to other duties, and have never resumed that command. For these reasons it would not now be possible for me to distinguish with satisfactory discrimination the particular instances of


Page 295 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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