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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 797 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

In these skirmishers 2 men were killed and 2 wounded on our side. The enemy's loss is not known with certainty beyond 4 killed.

On Sunday, June 29, orders were received to proceed down the Charles City road for the purpose of co-operating with other forces of our army now pursuing the retreating enemy along the line of the Chickahominy, but mainly in reference to the forces which had been stationed on the north side of the White Oak Swamp, immediately confronting our position on the Charles City and Williamsburg roads.

This brigade, which was followed by those of Brigadier-Generals Armistead and Ransom, pursued their march without the occurrence of any incident worthy to be noted until they arrived at the place known as Brightwell's house, where a small party of the enemy's cavalry were met.

At this point a cross-road leading from the Darbytown road was known to pass down to the White Oak Swamp, crossing the swamp at a passable for in rear of Chapman's, leading thence into the main White Oak Swamp road, which was been heretofore held by the enemy and upon which his camps and fortifications had been established. It was anticipated that by this White Oak Swamp road Kearny's division, which had been more immediately confronting our lines, would attempt its retreat, crossing the swamp either at this point or at Fisher's Crossing, where another division of the enemy was known to have been fortified, or at White Oak Bridge, where he was also known to have been in large force formidably fortified.

Upon meeting this cavalry scout it was deemed essential our safety, before leaving this pass to the Charles City and Darbytown roads in our rear, to ascertain if the enemy had left his camp on the opposite side of the swamp at Chapman's. With this view a reconnoitering party was immediately dispatched, which soon returned, and reported the enemy' column then in the act of crossing the swamp about half a mile distant from our troops. The brigade was promptly placed in position to meet the approach of this force, whose advance guard and our skirmishers in a few minutes afterward came into collision. This guard was dispersed, and two regiments of the brigade pushed forward upon the crossing at the swamp. Meantime a cavalry scout of the enemy again made its appearance, advancing up the road, and were routed with a loss of 3 men and 3 horses killed.

It was now night, and our forces, holding this position, slept upon their arms. At this point we captured 15 prisoners.

Early the next morning it was ascertained that Kearny's division, upon coming up with our skirmishers, had recrossed the swamp. Satisfied that the enemy had changed his route of retreat across the swamp, the next point which seemed to require the like precautions as at Brightwell's was Fisher's, near by, where there was a still better crossing of the swamp, and which was known to lead directly to a large camp of the enemy. The brigade was now advanced to a position covering the crossing at Fisher's, when it was ascertained that a considerable body of the enemy had passed from across the swamp into the Charles City road the evening before. Again moving forward we at once came upon the rear guard of the enemy, and found the road for more than a mile blockaded. Skirmishing was kept up along this section of the road, the enemy readily yielding to our advance until we came to Brackett's field, where he was found in force, fortified by the advantages of a superior position, which it was deemed necessary to reconnoiter before pushing farther, and the propriety of this precaution, it may be well to remark, was fully sustained by subsequent actual


Page 797 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 11, Part 2 (Peninsular Campaign)
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