War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0040 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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and the whole position occupied by General Casey's division was taken by the enemy.

Previous to this time General Keyes ordered General Couch to advance two regiments to relieve the pressure upon General Casey's right flank. In making this movement General Couch discovered large masses of the enemy pushing toward our right and crossing the railroad, as well as a heavy column which had been held in reserve, and which was now making its way toward Fair Oaks Station. General Couch at once engaged this column with two regiments; but, though re-enforced by two additional regiments, he was overpowered, and the enemy pushed between him and the main body of his division. With these four regiments and one battery General Couch fell back about half a mile towards the Grapevine Bridge, where, hearing that General Sumner had crossed, he formed line of battle facing Fair Oaks Station, and prepared to hold the position.

Generals Berry's and Jameson's brigades had by this time arrived in front of the Seven Pines. General Berry was ordered to take possession of the woods on the left, and push forward so as to have a flank fire on the enemy's lines. This movement was executed brilliantly, General Berry pushing his regiments forward through the woods until their rifles commanded the left of the camp and works occupied by General Casey's division in the morning. Their fire on the pursuing columns of the enemy was very destructive, and assisted materially in checking the pursuit in that part of the field. He held his position in these woods against several attacks of superior numbers, and after dark, being cut off by the enemy from the main body, he fell back toward White Oak Swamp, and by a circuit brought his men into our lines in good order.

General Jameson, with two regiments (the other two of his brigade having been detached-one to General Peck and one to General Birney), moved rapidly to the front, on the left of the Williamsburg road, and succeeded for a time in keeping the abatis clear of the enemy. But, large numbers of the enemy pressing past the right of his line, he, too, was forced to retreat through the woods toward White Oak Swamp, and in that way gained camp under cover of night.

Brigadier-General Devens, who had held the center of General Couch's division, had made repeated and gallant efforts to regain portions of the ground lost in front, but each time was driven back, and finally withdrew behind the rifle-pits near Seven Pines.

Meantime General Sumner had arrived with the advance of his corps, General Sedgewick's division, at the point held by General Couch with four regiments and one battery. The roads leading from the bridge were so miry that it was only by the greatest exertion General Sedgewick had been able to get one of his batteries to the front.

The leading regiment (First Minnesota, Colonel Sully) was immediately deployed to the right of Couch to protect the flank, and the rest of the division formed in line of battle, Kirby's battery near the center, in an angle of the woods. One of General Couch's regiments was sent to open communication with General Heintzelman. No sooner were these dispositions made than the enemy came in strong force and opened a heavy fire along the line. He made several charges, but was each time repulsed with great loss by the steady fire of the infantry and the splendid practice of the battery. After sustaining the enemy's fire for a considerable time General Sumner ordered five regiments (the Thirty-fourth New York, Colonel Suiter; Eighty-second New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Hudson; Fifteenth Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel Kimball;