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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 759 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

unsuccessful, and on Sunday morning it was ascertained that he had abandoned his fortifications and was in full retreat toward his gunboats on the James River. I was ordered, with my own division and that of Major General A. P. Hill, to march via New Bridge and the Darbytown road to intercept his retreat. After a forced march our troops reached a point that night within easy striking distance of the enemy.

The march was resumed on Monday morning. Soon after taking up the line of march I was joined by the commanding general. Our forces came upon the enemy at Fraizer's farm about noon, when the enemy's skirmishers were reported as advancing. Colonel Jenkins, commanding the Second Brigade, was directed to ascertain the condition of the enemy. After driving in his pickets it was found that he was in force and position, ready for battle. My own division was put in position for attack or defense at once, and one of Major General A. P. Hill's brigades (Branch's) ordered forward to support my right flank, the rest of Hill's division being left for the time on the road to secure the right or to move p to support the front.

About getting into position artillery fire was opened about 3 p.m. upon the enemy, apparently from the Charles City road. Taking this for Huger's attack, and thinking that his troops (rather fresh) would expect early co-operation, I ordered several batteries forward hurriedly in order to assure those troops that we were in position. The enemy's batteries returned the fire immediately and with great rapidity. One battery was found to be so near our front line that I ordered Colonel Jenkins to silence it. The enemy was found to be in such force there, however, that the engagement was brought on at once (4 o'clock). Troops were thrown forward as rapidly as possible to the support of the attacking columns. Owing to the nature of the ground that concert of action so essential to complete success could not obtain, particularly attacking such odds against us and in position. The enemy, however, was driven back slowly and steadily, contesting the ground inch by inch. He succeeded in getting some of his batteries off the field, and, by holding his last position until dark, in withdrawing his forces under cover of night.

The troops sustained their reputation for coolness, courage, determination, and devotion so well earned on many hotly contested fields.

Branch's brigade, of Major General A. P. Hill's division, did not render the prompt support to our right which was expected, and it is believed that several of our officers and men were taken prisoners inconsequence. The other brigades of this division were prompt, and advanced to the attack with an alacrity worthy of their gallant leader. They recovered and secured the captured batteries from some of which the troops of my division had been compelled to retire for want of prompt support. The odds against us on this field were probably greater than on any other.

Major General A. P. Hill deserves much credit for the condition of his new troops and the promptness and energy displayed in throwing his forces forward at the proper time and to the proper points.

I would also mention, as distinguished among others for gallantry and skill, Brigadier Gens. R. H. Anderson, Kemper, Wilcox, Pryor, and Featherston (the latter severely wounded), and Colonels Jenkins, Corse,


Page 759 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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