eHistory logo Primary Sources Section
Primary Sources Home | Search eHistory

The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

You are currently in Volume XI | Pages range from 1 to 994

Go to Page (current volume):  
Index | Previous | Next
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Page 667 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

position had been made of my troops by order of General Longstreet, he said he would show we where my right would be placed in support of General Holmes, and, conducting me through the woods to what is known as the River road, he pointed out the intersection of the road, along which we came, with the River road as the point at which my right was to rest, and instructed me to form my command there, and to march it diagonally through the woods, and I would thus find the position in which I would support General Holmes.

Having previously sent a staff officer to bring up General Semmers' brigade, which had been escorting the artillery, and sending another of the staff to New Market to hasten the troops, I left another staff officer to designate the point indicated by Colonel Chilton, and galloped myself to the front on the River road in the hope of finding General Holmes. After going about a mile without being able to see him, and it being near sunset, I directed another of my staff to find him, and inform him that I was moving up to his support on his left. I returned myself to the position of General Semmes, to which I had ordered my command at New Market to proceed rapidly. I ordered General Semmes to move forward through the woods in obedience to Colonel Chilton's directions. He replied that it was impossible to do so, owing to the density of the woods and the approaching darkness, without disorganizing his command. I informed him that it was Colonel Chilton's order, and he attempted to execute it. I then galloped toward New Market, with the view of hurrying forward the remainder of my command, when I received an order from General Longstreet to bring one-half of it to the position occupied by him, and very soon after another order from Colonel Chilton to proceed with the whole of it to General Longstreet. This order was received at the intersection of the Darbytown and Long Bridge roads. I instantly dispatched staff officers to bring up my command, directing General McLaws' division, which had been engaged the day before and was extremely fatigued, to form the rear. I remained at the spot until the head of my advancing columns reached it, when, having ordered them forward on the Long Bridge road, I proceeded rapidly to the front and reported myself to Generals Lee and Longstreet.

General Lee directed me as soon as my troops came up to relieve those of General Longstreet on his late battle-field, about 1 1/2 miles in front. Proceeding to the battle-field, I directed the necessary disposition of the troops to be made as soon as they should come, and was occupied on duty until 3 o'clock on Tuesday morning.

Having slept about an hour, I proceeded before sunrise to our front, where I learned that the enemy, who had been felt, according to General Lee's instructions, during the night, was still in position. Making the necessary disposition as rapidly as possible, which could not be properly done in the darkness of the preceding night, I advanced in line of battle, capturing some prisoners and a hospital of wounded men. I found that the troops in front were only a small rear guard, a portion of whom made their escape. My skirmishers soon came in contact with those of General Jackson, but fortunately, recognizing each other, a collision was avoided.

Being anxious to pursue these slight successes by pressing on the retiring enemy, I desired, after the junction with General Jackson's forces, to continue my direct movement to the front, and volunteered with my command to lead in the pursuit of the enemy. General Jackson replied that his troops were fresher than mine, and General Lee then directed me to proceed by the Quaker road and to form on the right of Jackson.


Page 667 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
Index | Previous | Next
This symbol external link icon indicates an external link
All images and content are the property of eHistory at The Ohio State University unless otherwise stated.
Copyright © 2014 OSU Department of History. All rights reserved. [citation and copyright information]
eHistory icon