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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 553 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

creek, Whiting rapidly repaired the bridge and the march was resumed.

That night the three divisions bivouacked near Hundley's Corner. While there some skirmishing took place with detachments of the enemy, in which Brockenbrough's battery; the First Maryland, Thirteenth Virginia, and Sixth Louisiana Regiments participated.

We were now approaching the ground occupied by that portion of the Grand Army of McClellan which was posted north of the Chickahominy. His right was then resting upon Mechanicsville, from which point his lines extended some miles down the river. As our route that day inclined toward the south and brought us in the direction, but to the left, of Mechanicsville, we distinctly heard the rapid and continued discharged of cannon, announcing the engagement of General A. P. Hill with the extreme right of the enemy.

Early the next morning [27th] the three divisions resumed the march, General Ewell in the lead. After crossing Beaver Dam we halted to dislodge a force of the enemy observed on our right near the intersection of the road then occupied by us with the road leading from Mechanicsville to Bethesda Church. But the Federals observing the division of General D. H. Hill, then coming into view, and which was advancing from Mechanicsville toward the point of intersection, and at the same time seeing General Ewell moving down from my command, they promptly abandoned their position and fell back. the enemy, seen by us, as before stated, on our right, having fallen back, and the road being open for pressing farther along his rear, the march was resumed toward Walnut Grove Church, where I again halted until General A. P. Hill came up. Continuing to carry out the plan of the commanding general I inclined to the left and advanced on Cold Harbor, while General A. P. Hill moved toward the same point by a different road to the right. The enemy having obstructed the road which I had taken, and adopted the additional precaution to delay my march by defending the obstructions with sharpshooters, it became necessary, for the purpose of saving time, to take a road still farther to the left. The time consumed in this delay threw me in rear of General D. H. Hill, who had moved by Bethesda Church. Upon reaching and passing Cold Harbor about half a mile his division was opened upon by a heavy fire from a position on his right and also from artillery in his front.

Soon after General A. P. Hill became engaged, and being unacquainted with the ground, and apprehensive, from what appeared to me to be the respective positions of the Confederate and Federal forces engaged, that if I then pressed forward our troops would be mistaken for the enemy and be fired into, and hoping that Generals A. P. Hill and Longstreet would soon drive the Federals toward me, I directed General D. H. Hill to move his division to the left of the road, so as to leave between him and the wood on the right of the road an open space, across which I hoped the enemy would be driven. thus arranged, it was in our power to distinguish friend from foe in case the enemy should be driven as expected. Major-General Stuart, who had been covering my left with his cavalry was also posted so as to charge should the Federals attempt to retreat to the Pamunkey by Cold Harbor; but it soon becoming apparent, from the direction and sound of the firing, that General A. P. Hill was hard pressed, I ordered a general advance of my entire corps, which commenced with General D. H. Hill upon the left, and extending to the right through Ewell's, Jackson's, and Whiting's divisions, posted from left to right in the order named.


Page 553 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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