War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0825 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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our line of march at the head of the brigade column, being the first prepared to move. At 6 p.m. we encamped for the night, and on the next morning followed the Fifth Regiment into the field. By your order we deployed to the right after the brilliant charge of the Second Regiment upon the enemy. For nearly 2 miles we advanced through the dense woods, thickly interwoven with underbrush, and for the most part over deep marshes. Emerging therefrom we formed the line of battle, our men crouching low and watching for the enemy in a partially open field, studded with a growth of low pines. In a few moments the enemy was discovered lurking on our extreme left, and before we could open on them poured a flanking fire along the left of our regiment. Our men rising and rapidly rallying from the sudden attack with quick fire soon drove the enemy from his position.

After this we were ordered to the left to form a connection with the Fourth Regiment, which we could nowhere find; hence we rested in an open field near the hospital depot of the Fifth Maine Regiment, where we received orders to move to the right along the railroad for the support of a battery, which proved to be the First New York, Captain Patrick [Pettit] commanding, which was accordingly done. After the lapse of nearly two hours we marched back by your order to the ground near the brigade headquarters, where we encamped last night.

This morning at 8 o'clock we took up our line of march, following the Third Regiment, and marched over the ground lately occupied by General Casey's division, extending about 2 miles from our last position. Forming a line of battle, we marched through the swamp, having previously thrown out pickets and skirmishers into an open field to a point within 5 miles of Richmond. This afternoon at 2 o'clock I, with four companies from the right of our regiment and two companies of the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, reconnoitered the ground up to the open field near which our pickets were posted, and found no enemy. I was then ordered to reform my regiment and return to the point from which it was started, and encamp for the night in the woods to the rear of the Fourth Regiment.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THOMAS HOLT,

Major, Commanding.

P. S. - I omitted to add that when the enemy attacked us on our left flank I turned my regiment to bear upon him, and then inquired for the colonel of the Fifth Regiment, and finding him, with his lieutenant-colonel also, absent with the right wing of the regiment, I said to Captain Morey, "I want you to re-enforce me on the left." He said that Colonel Graham had command, and if I would lead that he would take charge and follow. I then gave the command to wheel his wing to the left to break it in rear of my regiment, and before this order was executed the enemy was dispersed.

Your obedient servant,

T. H.

HDQRS. FIRST REGIMENT, EXCELSIOR BRIGADE,

June 5, 1862

P. S.- I have the honor to report the movements of my regiment from the morning of the 3rd up to this date. Expecting to be relieved