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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)

to special notice for the gallant and zealous manner in which they performed the duties required of them.

I understand that the force brought against us was of the command of Major-General Huger.

The enemy's loss greatly exceeded our own, and is estimated by our officers at not less than 500.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Brigadier General PHILIP KEARNY,

Commanding Third Div., Third Corps, Army of the Potomac.

HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, KEARNY'S DIV., THIRD CORPS, July 4, 1862.

GENERAL: On the morning of the 30th ultimo my brigade left the edge of White Oak Swamp and took the position assigned it at Nelson's farm, on the right of the New Market road, McCall's division being on the left. About 2.30 o'clock p.m. the enemy commenced a furious attack upon McCall's position. While he was there engaged I employed a portion of my brigade in constructing a slight barricade of rails on the right off my line. Before this was completed the enemy relinquished his attack on McCall, and at 4 o'clock turned his whole fore against my front. I had two companies of the Twentieth Indiana deployed as skirmishers in the woods in front of the clearing, who held their position as long as possible and fought their way back to the brigade. The remainder of the Indiana regiment was in line behind the barricade. In the center was the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania, and on the left the Sixty-third Pennsylvania, while the One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania was formed in column and held in reserve. Against this line the enemy brought his whole force, constantly sending in fresh regiments to relieve those already engaged.

For five hours my brigade sustained these assaults under a terrific fire, and frequently repulsed the enemy and drove him to seek shelter in the woods. I was supported during the afternoon and evening by regiments from Birney's, Berry's, and Caldwell's brigades, but many of the regimental commanders having failed to report to me, I leave it for those brigade commanders to report their operations. The enemy was twice driven back by our troops charging upon him.

The Sixty-third Pennsylvania, in addition to guarding the left of our line, was charged with protecting Thompson's battery, which duty was most gallantly performed. The regiment, although few in numbers, made a brilliant charge upon the enemy, contended with him hand to hand, and drove him from the field.

I beg to call your special attention to the report of Colonel Hays, who mentions First Lieutenants Gray and Fulton and Adjutant Corts as particularly distinguished in this action.

Considering the disparity of the forces engage, the enemy outnumbering us at least 4 to 1, the result of the battle was all that could be desired and more than we had reason to expect. The Eighty-seventh New York, one of the regiments of my brigade, was that morning detached and sent to destroy Brackett's Ford, across White Oak Swamp, which duty was well performed in face of the enemy.

My thanks are due to Colonel Brown, Twentieth Indiana, and Colonel

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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