War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0891 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

Search Civil War Official Records

battle must be regarded as one of the most severe and brilliant victories of the war.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 77. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Thourot,

Fifty-fifth New York Infantry.


GENERAL: At 1.30 o'clock p. m. yesterday this regiment was called out under arms, formed in line of battle, and posted by your order in front of our camp. Some minutes after line was formed General Keyes, passing in front of the regiment, said that he designed it to go and save a battery of artillery placed in the first line, and which the regiments ahead were no longer able to support. General Keyes, in again passing the regiment, spoke a few words, saying that he counted upon the "red caps," when the Fifty-fifth, led by General Naglee, charged bayonets upon the enemy at double-quick in magnificent style, and after having taken the position which had been assigned to it maintained it alone and without any support under so murderous a fire that in a few moments we had about 50 men hors de combat, among whom were 5 officers. Two horses were a wounded, and mine fell dead under me, pierced by three balls. I think I may say that my regiment did almost more than was possible for 400 men to accomplish, that number being all its effective strength. It had saved the battery which had been confined to their care, had held the enemy at bay under a terrific fire for two hours, and even after their ammunition was expended maintained their position for half an hour, waiting for a fresh supply, which they were not able to obtain. It was only when the regiment was relieved by the Tenth Massachusetts that they retreated to their original position in a small wood near the road, in which there were intrenchments, where it was joined by Company I and 20 men of Company H, who had been detached on picket at the time the regiment advanced.

An American flag was saved by one of our officers, Lieutenant Philip C. Rogers, of Company G, who while in advance found it outside the abatis. The regiment which lost the flag can recover it by applying to General Peck's headquarters. All our companies suffered severely, especially those on our left, who, notwithstanding their more than proportionate loss, conducted themselves with exemplary bravery. Our loss, as near as can at present be estimated, is about 100 men.*

I must conclude by saying that I think I have just cause to be proud of the conduct of my regiment in this hotly-contested affair, and hope that you will take due notice of the gallant conduct of the regiment.

I remain, general, very respectfully,


Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Fifty-Fifth Regiment N. Y. S. Vols.

Brigadier-General PECK.


*See p. 761.