was one of the difficulties of the march, I deem these particulars worthy of record.
General Keyes' corps had crossed on the 28th, with orders to take a position to cover debouches from the swamp and our line of march toward the James. General Woodbury had been directed to communicate with him and assist him by reconnaissances, and Lieutenant McAlester had been ordered by me to proceed to his positions and make such arrangements there, such as slashing, obstructing roads &c., as he could. Colonel Alexander had also, in execution of the duties assigned him, been on this ground and communicated with the commanding general concerning it.*
On the morning of the 30th General Woodbury made a reconnaissance between the Charles City and Long Bridge roads, assisting Generals Kearny and McCall in posting their troops, and I went out on all the different roads, arriving at 12 or 1 p. m. at Malvern Hill. At this time the danger seemed to me that the Quaker road, over which our trains were passing, would be taken in flank by the cross roads which I had observed to exist from near Bulten's or Warriner's, striking the Quaker road near Malvern Hill (See Campaign Map No. 3.) I did not know what the general arrangement of troops was, nor could I see the commanding general, who was not on the field, but I mentioned the circumstance to General Porter, whose troops held the hill. Later in the day you directed me to post some of the reserve artillery, and I took it to the right and front of Dr. Mellert's house, facing the debouche from the woods of the dangerous roads of which I speak and through which I had previously penetrated to within a half or three-quarters of a mile of the New Castle road. While I was posting these batteries General Porter joined me and established Morell's brigade on this line. About this time (perhaps 4 p. m.) the action commenced on the New Castle road. So near to us was it, that a shell (whether from friend or foe could not be known) struck near where near where we were.
Shortly after the enemy opened upon us with his artillery from the woods which skirted the bottom lands to the left or west of Malvern Hill. A brisk cannonade took place, in which we had the better. The gunboats took part in this, and though there seemed to be indications of force on the Richmond road, our position was found too strong to be assailed from this quarter.
I passed the night at Drew's house (General Porter's headquarters), where the commanding general came and remained until 12 or 1 o'clock of the night. The Engineer Brigade (a detachment of which had destroyed the White Oak Swamp Bridge) and Engineer Battalion had proceeded to camp near the headquarters, Haxall's Landing.
The news of the action on the New Market road had been favorable. subsequently and at a late hour it was reported that McCall's division had been routed with the loss of its general officers, and somewhat later, probably about midnight, it was known that General Franklin was falling back and that Sunner and Heintzelman were necessarily following his example. This left no latitude of judgment as to the arrangements for the next day. I was ordered to reconnoiter and assist in putting the troops in position as they came in. I went out early to get a more general view of the hill and its connections, and afterward, assisted by Brigadier-General Humphreys, Chief of Topographical Engineers, Colonel Hudson, Captain Mason, and one or two other aides of the commanding general, I directed the formation of the line.
Leaving the dispositions to be made here by others, I then went to
* See No. 3, Alexander's report of July 12, 1862.