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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 464 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

bridges in our front. We then fell back slowly to the position indicated for the division in front of Savage Station, where, finding both our flanks unprotected and the enemy gathering in force in front, we fell back by order of General Franklin to the station, where we formed a junction with Sumner's corps and formed line of battle. After a couple of hours' delay here we started for the White Oak Swamp, but were recalled after marching a couple of miles to take part in the fight there. The First Brigade, General Hancock, was thrown into the woods on the right to hold the railroad, while the Second Brigade, General Brooks, was thrown into the woods on the left. The Third Brigade, Colonel Taylor, was held in reserve. General Division had unfortunately been placed hors de combat by a sun-stroke while forming his line on the plain. General Brooks soon came up with the enemy and fought them until after dark, during which time he was wounded, but has constantly continued to do duty up to this day. The Forty-ninth New York, Colonel Bidwell, and Twentieth New York, Colonel Weiss, were thrown forward to re-enforce General Brooks, but had not time to reach him before the battle closed. About 10 o'clock p.m, after the arrangements were made for leaving the wounded, the division left for the White Oak Swamp, which we crossed about half an hour after daylight on the 30th ultimo. The division was formed here to cover the retreat of the trains. About noon a terrific cannonade was opened from the plateau opposite, and a new line was formed to get the infantry sheltered. Captain Ayres, the gallant and efficient chief of artillery, finding his batteries unable to cope with artillery which could not be seen,they were withdrawn to be formed to prevent the passage of the enemy across the plain.

About 10 o'clock our tired soldiers were again called upon to commence a night march for Turkey Creek, which we reached about 5 o'clock a.m. on the 1st. After a couple of hours' rest the command was again turned out to form line of battle, where it remained until about 11 o'clock at night, when we drew out near the road, where we halted till after sunrise, waiting for artillery and other troops to pass. To General Davidson, overtasked as he had been, was assigned the delicate and responsible duty of holding the ground until the rest of the division had crossed the two narrow bridges over Turkey Creek, of retiring his own brigade, and then destroying the bridges. The duty was performed with perfect success. We then started for Harrison's Bar, and, to add to the already enormous fatigues of the men, a drenching storm came on, which soon made the roads excessively heavy. The division reached camp about noon on Wednesday, where the men remained all night in the mud, exposed to the severity of the weather.

On Thursday morning some shells falling into camp caused the division to be turned out again to move to our present position.

The cheerfulness with which the men and officers endured the fatigues and watching and privations of this terrible march, always forming their lines with alacrity when threatened and always repulsing the enemy when attacked, is above all praise. General Hancock, Brooks, and Davidson deserve for their gallantry and untiring zeal the especial notice of the Government. To my staff, Captain Mundee, acting division quartermaster; Captain Currie, assistant adjutant-general; Captain P. C. F. West, volunteer topographical engineer and aide-de-camp; Captain Crane, ordnance officer; Lieutenant Carey, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant Scrymser, aide-de-camp; Lieutenant Edgerton, provost marshal, and Lieutenant Berry, acting aide-de-camp, my thanks are due


Page 464 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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