War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0749 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS,OR SEVEN PINES.

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Numbers 1. Reports of Major General George B. McClellan,

U. S. Army,and resulting correspondence.

FIELD OF BATTLE, June 1, 1862-12 o'clock.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

We have had a desperate battle, in which the corps of Sumner, Heintzelman, and Keyes have been engaged against greatly superior numbers. Yesterday, at 1, the enemy, taking advantage of a terrible storm, which had flooded the valley of the Chickamauga, attacked our troops on the right bank of that river. Casey's division, which was in first line, gave way unaccountably and disunitedly [discreditably*]. This caused a temporary confusion, during which some guns and baggage were lost, but Heintzelman and Kearny most gallantly brought up their troops, which checked the enemy; at the same time, however, [General Sumner*] succeeded by great exertion in bringing across Sedgwick's and Richardson's division, who drove back the enemy at the point of the bayonet,covering the ground with his dead.

This morning the enemy attempted to renew the conflict,but was everywhere repulsed. We have taken many prisoners, among whom is General Pettigrew and Colonel Long. Our loss is heavy, but that of the enemy must be enormous. With the exception of Casey's division [our*] men behaved splendidly.+ Several fine bayonet charges have been made. The Second Excelsior made two to-day.


Major-General, Commanding.

McCLELLAN'S HEADQUARTERS, June 2, 1862-12 p.m.

Hon. E. M. STANTON, Secretary of War:

Am delighted to hear of General Halleck's success. I have sent to learn numbers of killed and wounded and prisoners. It will take some time to ascertain details. The attack was a sudden one by the enemy in large force on Casey. On Saturday Casey's pickets rushed in without attempting a stand, and the camp was carried by the enemy. Heintzelman moved up at once with Kearny's division and checked the enemy. A portion of Hooker's arrived about dark. As soon as informed of the state of affairs I ordered General Sumner across the Chickahominy. He displayed the utmost energy in bringing his troops into action, and handled them with the utmost courage. In action, he repulsed every attack of the enemy, and drove him whenever he could get at him. The enemy attacked in force and with great spirit yesterday morning, but are everywhere most signally repulsed with great loss. Our troops charged frequently on both days, and uniformly broke the enemy.

The results is that our left is now within 4 miles of Richmond. I only wait for the river to fall to cross with the rest of the force and make a general attack. Should I find them holding firm in a very strong position I may wait for what troops I can bring up from Fort Monroe, but the morale of my troops is now such that I can venture much, and do not


*These words in revised copy. See McClellan to Stanton, June 5, 10.30 a.m., p.751.

+See also general report, pp.38-43.