War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0837 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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on Saturday last (from its camp in advance of the Chickahominy), I marched the Seventh and Eighth Regiments New Jersey Volunteers to Bottom's Bridge. Arriving there about dusk I was met by Colonel E. Wright, of General McClellan's staff. By his directions the regiments were counter-marched over Bottom's Bridge, and took position in the intrenchments in advance. These intrenchments extended over a space of about 1 1/2 miles, reaching from the railroad in a southerly direction, commanding all the approaches to the bridges across the Chickahominy. Written orders from General Heintzelman, commanding Third Army Corps, were to stay all stragglers, whether wounded or otherwise, who should attempt to reach the rear. But it was seen that at the point occupied a good stand might be mae against an attacking party should our lines in front be broken and the enemy drive our forces. Hence a detachment of three companies-two from the Eighth and one from the Seventh Regiment, under Major Henry, of the Eighth New Jersey Volunteers-were posted in the intrenchments to the right, with instructions to guard the railroad. The balance of the Seventh Regiment, under its efficient commanding officer, Major F. Price, was assigned to the works on the extreme left, commanding the junction of the roads leading to Bottom's Bridge, with subsequent instructions to support a section of a battery in an earthwork commanding the road to White Oak Swamp. The balance of the Eighth Regiment was retained in the central works, a constant communication being kept up with the right and left.

On Saturday night, though worn with the march and counter-march over terrible roads, the men all slept on their arms.

During Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and even until last evening, large numbers of stragglers were brought into all the works. Some of these were wounded or sick, and were as well cared for as circumstances would allow the surgeons, Drs. Taylor and Satterthwait (Eighth and Seventh Regiments), giving them every possible attention. Some were evidently nervous from the effects of the battle; others were stragglers only, apparently from the disorganization of their regiments, broken by the conflict. The number brought in must have been as large as from 3,000 to 4,000 the large proportion being men of Casey's division. There were some officers. As rapidly as possible and as far as possible they were sent back to rejoin their regiments, having been rested and fed.

On Monday, owing to the heavy rains of recent date, or from some other cause, the Chickahominy became greatly swollen and the swampy ground in the vicinity overflown. The bridges were all carried away, with the exception of the one over the railroad. On learning this, forces were detailed from the Seventh and Eighth Regiments of sufficient strength to rebuild the bridges. These fatigue parties were kept at work with proper reliefs day and night until this morning, when the works was finished. This work was considered of great importance, as without the bridges the supplies for the army would have been materially disturbed, as well as a possible falling back be unprovided for. As it was, on Monday evening one bridge was so far repaired as to allow the free passage of teams about six hours after their being carried away.

Yesterday two companies from the Eighth Regiment were detailed by General Heintzelman's orders as a guard for his headquarters. They are still detained there, it is supposed permanently.

The command was relieved this morning by a brigade of Casey's division, a part of which came on the ground yesterday.