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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 613 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

moving about over the field in immediate proximity to the enemy's position, which were doubtless borne by persons from the enemy's lines in search of their wounded.

As soon as it was light enough next morning an appalling spectacle was presented to our view in front. The field from some distance from the enemy's position was literally strewn with the dead and wounded, and arms were lying in every direction. It was apparent that the enemy's main body with his artillery had retired, but a body of his cavalry, supported by infantry, was soon discovered on the field. To the right, near the top of a steep hill leading up toward the enemy's position, we saw a body of our own troops, some distance off, lying down, which proved to be a small body under Brigadier-Generals Mahone and Wright.

In the mean time parties of our men were going to the front in search of the wounded, and after a demonstration by the enemy's cavalry, which was abandoned on the firing of a few shots by the Maryland regiment posted in the woods some distance to my left, the parties from both armies in search of the dead and wounded gradually approached each other and continued their mournful work without molestation on either side, being apparently appalled for the moment into a cessation from all hostile purposes by the terrible spectacle presented to their view.

About 10 a.m the last of the enemy's forces retired and left the field of battle to our occupation. The other regiments of the brigade, which on the march were in front of those who got with me on the field, not being able to find any practicable way for marching over the route designated by the guide across the bottom mentioned, in their effort to discover one reached the battle-field at a different point from that at which I had arrived and got very near to the enemy; but as it had become very dark, and amid the confusion it was impossible to distinguish friend from foe, they retired, and went back that night to the position at which the brigade was first drawn up in line of battle. This separation of the brigade was caused by the impracticable character of the route over which it was marched the confusion produced by the immense number of men retiring in disorder from the field, and the attempt of the guide to send the brigade over a nearer route than that taken by General Ewell and myself. The men with me did not get under a musketry fire, and were only exposed to the fire from the enemy's artillery within the range for the round shot and shell.

I was favorably impressed with the deportment of the officers and men of the brigade so far as it came under my own observation, and was particularly struck with that of Captain James G. Rodgers, in command of the Twelfth Georgia Regiment, who led the regiment through a large body of disorganized men who were giving the most disheartening accounts of the state of things in front, he all the time encouraging his own men and endeavoring to induce the fugitives to fall into his ranks and return to the battle-field.

Subjoined is a list of killed and wounded.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. A. EARLY

Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.

Captain G. CAMPBELL BROWN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.

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*Embodied in returns, pp. 608, 974.

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Page 613 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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