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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 435 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

junction with the Long Bridge road and about an equal distance from Brackett's Ford.

In anticipation of an attack by a force said to be approaching on the Charles City road this road was blockaded as thoroughly as possible. Soon after our arrival our line of battle was established, and Upton's battery (D), Second Artillery, and Porter's and Hexamer's Volunteer batteries placed in position. The infantry necessary to support the artillery was posted on the flanks of the batteries, and the balance so disposed as to be entirely protected from the fire of the enemy's artillery. The bridge near Brackett's Ford was destroyed by our troops immediately after our arrival, and an infantry force, with one 12-pounder howitzer of Hexamer's battery at this point and attempted a reconstruction of the bridge, but were repulsed.

At 11 a. m. our pickets on the Charles City road were driven in and the enemy immediately appeared in force in a large open field in our front, their position being partially screened from our view by a narrow belt of woodland. They opened fire from two batteries, which was at once replied to by Porter's and Upton's batteries and two pieces of Hexamer's battery. Our artillery, with the exception of the two pieces of Hexamer's battery, was exceedingly well served.

About this time a large body of infantry and some artillery which had approached our lines by the Charles City road moved to our left, and were brought against the troops of Generals Kearny and McCall. The artillery fire was continued by the enemy in our front until nearly dark, but our troops were so well covered that we suffered but few casualties, our total loss not exceeding 25 in killed and wounded.

At 7 o'clock it was reported to me that the left of our line, held by General Heintzelman, was severely pressed, and the fire of the enemy in our front having ceased, I ordered the brigade of Colonel Bartlett to move to the front and gain possession, if possible, of the field on which the enemy first appeared. As soon as his brigade moved down the road leading to this position a strong force of the enemy's infantry appeared, drawn up in line a short distance behind a creek separating our position from that held by the enemy. Upton's battery of light 12-pounders was at once moved to the front and a very effective fire of canister opened upon them, which caused their well-formed lines to disappear.

At this time General Heintzelman arrived on the field, and at his suggestion I ordered the First New Jersey Brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Taylor, to the support of General Kearny. Under the circumstances I deemed it imprudent to attempt an advance.

Our position during the entire day was defended mainly by our artillery, which on this, as on all other occasions, was most admirably served. Of Upton's battery (D), Second Artillery, I cannot speak too highly. The officers and men of both these batteries have on all occasions manifested that coolness and bravery so necessary to this branch of the service. Hexamer's battery has usually been well served, but on this occasion the two pieces under command of a lieutenant (since resigned) were poorly handled, and proved of but little assistance. Captain De Russy's battery, of the Fourth Artillery, and Captain Randolph's Volunteer battery were in position on our line during a portion of the day, and did good execution. To Captain E. R. Platt, chef of artillery, I am greatly indebted, not only for his services during both the recent engagements, but for his unceasing care and vigilance on the march. The fire on our


Page 435 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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