New Market and Richmond, as well as the immediate and secure establishment of our communication with the gunboats, I passed the day in examining the ground, directing the posting of troops and securing the uninterrupted movement of the trains.
In the afternoon I instructed General Keyes to move during the night to James River, and occupy a defensive position near Malvern Hill, to secure our extreme left flank.
General F. J. Porter was ordered to follow him, and prolong the line toward the right. The trains were to be pushed on toward James River in rear of these corps, and placed under the protection of the gunboats as they arrived.
A sharp skirmish with the enemy's cavalry early this day on the Quaker road showed that his efforts were about to be directed toward impeding our progress to the river, and rendered my presence in that quarter necessary.
BATTLE OF ALLEN'S FARM.
General Sumner vacated his works at Fair Oaks on June 29 at daylight and marched his command of Orchard Station, halting at Allen's field, between Orchard and Savage Stations. The divisions of Richardson and Sedgwick were formed on the right of the railroad, facing toward Richmond, Richardson holding the right and Sedgwick joining the right of Heintzelman's corps. The first line of Richardson's division was held by General French, General Caldwell supporting in the second. A log building in front of Richardson's division was held by Colonel Brooke with one regiment (Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers), with Hazzard's battery on an elevated piece of ground, a little in rear of Colonel Brooke's command.
At 9 a.m. the enemy commenced a furious attack on the right of General Sedgwick, but were repulsed. The left of General Richardson was next attacked, the enemy attempting in vain to carry the position of Colonel Brooke. Captain Hazzard's battery, and Pettit's battery, which afterward replaced, it were served with great effect, while the Fifty-third Pennsylvania kept up a steady fire on the advancing enemy, compelling them at last to retire in disorder. The enemy renewed the attack three times, but were as often repulsed.
BATTLE OF SAVAGE STATION.
General Slocum arrived at Savage Station at an early hour on the 29th and was ordered to cross White Oak Swamp and relieve General Keye's corps. As soon as General Keyes was thus relieved he moved toward James River, which he reached in safety with all his artillery and baggage early on the morning of the 30th,and took up a position below Turkey Creek Bridge.
During the morning General Franklin heard that the enemy, after having repaired the bridges, was crossing the Chickahominy in large force and advancing toward Savage Station. He communicated this information to General Sumner, at Allen's farm, and moved Smith's division to Savage Station. A little after noon General Sumner united his forces with those of General Franklin, and assumed command.
I had ordered General Heintzelman, with his corps, to hold the Williamsburg road until dark at a point where there were several field-works, and a skirt of timber between these works and the railroad, but he fell back before night, and crossed White Oak Swamp at Brackett's Ford.