War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0817 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES

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cal director of my corps, Lieutenants Norton and Deacon, were also quite active and efficient. Lieutenants Hunt and Johnson, who also behaved with much gallantry, were absent at this moment delivering orders. Captain McKelvy, chief commissary, was very active in carrying orders, and rendered me most efficient service during the battle.

The arrival of General Sedgwick's division of General Sumner's corps on my extreme right late in the afternoon was most opportune. General Abercrombie's brigade had maintained itself most gallantly, but would have been overwhelmed by the masses of the enemy but for this timely assistance. The greatest distance the enemy, with their overwhelming numbers claim to have driven us back is but a mile and a half. The distance was less. During the evening the troops were formed in the lines before spoken of, and the artillery so disposed as to resist a heavy force should the attack be renewed the next day.

On the next morning, Sunday, June 1, a little before 7 o'clock, firing of musketry commenced near the Fair Oaks Station. This soon became heavy, occasioned by an attack by the enemy on General Sumner's corps, on my right. I immediately gave orders for that portion of General Hooker's division to advance between the Williamsburg road and the railroad. General Hooker gallantly led the Fifth and Sixth New Jersey Regiments forward near the railroad. General Sickles' brigade followed, but finding the enemy in force to the left of the Williamsburg road turned, by my direction a portion of the brigade to the left of this road. The ground was so boggy that the artillery, after making the attempt to follow, had to return. General Birney's brigade, on the right of General Hooker, and now under command of Colonel J. H. Hobart Ward, promptly and gallantly supported the former. After some fighting General Hooker made a gallant charge with the bayonet, leading himself the Fifth and Sixth New Jersey against the rebel troops and driving them back nearly a mile.

In Sickles' brigade, the Seventy-first New York, Colonel Hall, after one or two volleys, made a charge and soon drove the enemy before them. The seventy-third New York, Major Moriarty, advanced also on the right. The other regiments of this brigade drove the enemy in the same manner. In every instance in which our troops used the bayonet our loss was comparatively light, and the enemy was driven back, suffering heavily. Our troops pushed as far forward as the battle-field of the previous day, where they found many of our wounded and those of the enemy. Ambulances were sent for, and all that could be reached were brought in.

I call attention to the paragraph in General Sickles' report respecting the condition in which he found the field after the enemy retreated-strewed with small-arms rebel caissons filled with ammunition, baggage wagons, subsistence stores, and forage. In one building at Fair Oaks half a dozen sacks of salt were left. These things indicate their hasty retreat.

On the next morning I sent forward General Hooker with the portion of his division engaged the day before to make a reconnaissance, which he did in a most gallant manner far beyond the position we had on Saturday. As he advanced the enemy's pickets fell back. Our pickets got to within 5 miles of Richmond. In the afternoon our troops fell back and occupied the positions we held before the battle.

Our loss on the first day was seven pieces of artillery from General Casey's division and one (the carriage being injured) from General Couch's. One of these was recovered the next day. I annex a list of