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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 756 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.


No. 300. Report of Major General James Longstreet,

C. S. Army, commanding division, of operations June 26-July 2, including the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, Fraizer's Farm (Nelson's Farm, or Glendale),and Malvern Hill.


HEADQUARTERS,
Near Richmond, July 29, 1862.

COLONEL: In obedience to Confidential General Orders, No. 75,* and previously arranged plans, the divisions of Major General D. H. Hill and my own were put in march, the former at 2 the latter at 3 a.m. on the 26th for the Mechanicsville turnpike, to await the progress of the commands of Major-Generals Jackson and A. P. Hill. The two divisions were in position in front of Mechanicsville Bridge at 8 a.m., but some unavoidable delay in the movements of the troops on the other side of the Chickahominy kept us in waiting until about 3 p.m., when the advance of Major General A. P. Hill's command was discovered. The divisions were put in readiness to cross at any moment, and at 6 o'clock the enemy had been turned and driven back far enough to enable the head of our column to pass the bridge.

Brigadier-General Hampton volunteered to give directions and positions to our heavy batteries opposite Mechanicsville, now become useless, and our heavy the movements of our army down the river. The battery followed our movements and played upon the enemy's lines with good effect. Ripley's brigade, of D. H. Hill's division, was thrown forward and soon became engaged in a sharp fight with the enemy at Beaver Dam Creek, a stream from 12 to 20 feet wide, with perpendicular banks from 6 to 8 feet high. The enemy being very strongly posted behind this creek, with the bridges destroyed, these gallant troops could accomplish but little before night. A very handsome effort was made by them, however, to take enemy's batteries. Major General D. H. Hill's report will give particulars of the conduct of his troops at this point.

Some time after dark the rear brigade of my own division succeeded in crossing the Chickahominy, and Pryor's and Featherston's brigades were ordered to Beaver Dam Creek to relieve the portion of Major General D. H. Hill's division in position there, the balance of the division remaining near the bridge in bivouac.

At nearly dawn on the 27th the battle was renewed with artillery and infantry. The brigade of General Wilcox and a battery was sent to the support of the brigades on Beaver Dam Creek, and were engaged principally with artillery until 7 o'clock, when the enemy abandoned his trenches and retired. The columns were delayed about an hour repairing the bridges, when the general advance was resumed. Three of my brigades (Wilcox's, Pryor's, and Feartherstown's), under Brigadier-General Wilcox, were put in advance to move, when the ground would permit, in line battle, supported by Pickett's brigade, the other two (Anderson's and Kemper's) some distance behind.

It was soon discovered that the enemy had fallen back rapidly from his right, burning and otherwise destroying most of the property that he could not remove. The pursuit was steadily continued until 1 o'clock, when the enemy was discovered strongly posted behind Powhite Creek. The three brigades under Wilcox were advanced to the edge

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*See p.498.

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Page 756 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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