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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 691 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

vanced across the Labor-in-Vain Swamp, through the camps lately occupied by the enemy, to the neighborhood of Fair Oaks Station. Discovering there that the enemy's pickets were a short distance in front, I directed Colonel Anderson to advance the First Georgia Regulars deployed as skirmishers, putting the remainder of his command in line of battle, instructing General Toombs to form his line on the left rear of Colonel Anderson, and so placing the two brigades en echelon. Meanwhile the First Georgia Regulars, having advanced about 400 yards, came upon the enemy's picket line and drove it back to the main body of his rear guard, which was in position, with several pieces of artillery, in a field beyond. Finding my command in advance of General Magruder's division, which was to move on my right, and without support on my left, General Jackson not having crossed the Chickahominy, I halted my command, and directed Hart's battery, attached to Anderson's brigade, and Moody's battery, attached to Toombs' brigade, to reply to the fire of the enemy, my skirmishers meanwhile keeping up a brisk exchange of fire. This was continued until he withdrew. On notification from General Magruder I advanced until my left had passed Mickey's farm and my right had come in view of the enemy at Savage Station, when Colonel Anderson, by my order, opened with his artillery, to wit, two pieces of Hart's battery, compelling the retreat out of view of the enemy's infantry. The engagement beginning on the right about this time, I caused Colonel Anderson to change front to the right, so as to take the enemy in flank and rear, should he advance on General Cobb's position. Scarcely had this disposition been made when orders were received from General Magruder, through Lieutenant Bryan, a member of his staff, to fall back to the railroad bridge with my whole command to support the right of his line. Two guides were sent at the same time to conduct me to the position designated. This order I obeyed; but failing to find General Magruder, my men were bivouacked near the railroad in a drenching rain about 10 p. m.

I cannot close my report of this day's operations without expressing my very great satisfaction with the admirable manner with which the First Georgia Regulars acquitted itself of the arduous duties assigned it. Deployed in full as skirmishers nearly the whole day in advance of the entire division, it preserved its alignment through woods and over every obstacle, and when in immediate conflict with the enemy behaved with a steadiness and coolness which exhibited the excellence of its discipline, the efficiency of its officers, and the courage of the men composing it.

Monday, June 30, at 8 a. m., according to orders, I marched with my command to General Longstreet's position beyond New Market, on the Darbytown road, a march of over eighteen hours' duration, reaching and occupying the field of Monday's battle with my exhausted troops between 2 and 3 a. m. of Tuesday, July 1.

About 7 a. m., by direction of General Magruder, my command, in conjunction with other troops, advanced as far as the Willis Church road, where many prisoners were captured. In obedience to orders, about 10 a. m. my troops were withdrawn from this position, marched back on the Darbytown road some 3 or 4 miles, counter-marched, and finally halted some 2 miles in rear of the position occupied in the morning.

Between 2 and 3 p. m., under orders from Major-General Longstreet, Colonel Anderson's brigade was placed in position on the right of the road leading to Crew's farm, and immediately in rear of the position


Page 691 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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