War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0910 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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fire on the enemy in front, and being ordered to retreat, gave way slowly, firing all the time, to the rise of ground in front of the camp of the Seventh Massachusetts.

At this time Colonel Briggs was wounded and Captain E. E. Day killed, and the command then devolved on Captain O. Miller. After making at this point a desperate resistance against overpowering numbers and being continually flanked, the regiment again fell back, but slowly, firing as it retreated through the woods into the next opening, where it halted and closed up. General Heintzelman, who was there, placed a portion of a New York regiment on the right of the Tenth, and ordered the line this formed to march forward and attack the enemy, who occupied the camp of the Seventh Massachusetts.

At this time it was after sundown, and although every one felt that it was a hopeless task to endeavor to drive the enemy back with the small force there, the men marched cheerfully forward, tired and exhausted as they were, to attack the rebels once more.

Before reaching the enemy the portion of the regiment on the right of the Tenth had melted away and was nowhere to be seen. The Tenth marched on, and when about half way through the woods saw the rebel lines approaching (there were two of them). At about 100 yards distance the Tenth commanded the action by pouring into the rebel ranks a tremendous volley, which opened wide gaps in their ranks and chaced their advance for a time; but soon, seeing the small force opposed to them, they again advance for a time; but soon, seeing the small force opposed to them, they again advanced, although very slowly, in front. On the right of the Tenth, which was entirely unprotected, they came on faster, until they entirely outflanked it and poured in a heavy cross fire. Then, and not until the enemy's front was within 20 yards of the line, the order to retire was given, which was executed in good order, many turning to fire a last short as they reluctantly withdrew, having been constantly under fire from the time the regiment took its first position until dark.

In this action, the last of the day, which lasted half an hour and was over at dusk, the Tenth lost heavily, but marched off to the rifle pits in the rear in good order, cheering the colors which waved above them.

At the rifle pits they remained in line under arms all night and most of the following day.

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


Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Captain FRANCIS A. WALKER, Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 90. Report of Colonel Henry S. Briggs,

Tenth Massachusetts Infantry.

PITTSFIELD, MASS, June 9, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken in the battle near the Seven Pines on Saturday, the 31st of May, by the Tenth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, then under my command.

I received the order to have my command under arms about 10 o'clock immediately upon mu return from visiting the outposts on my tour as general officer of the day about 1 o'clock p. m. I had just left the One hundred and third Pennsylvania at the deserted huts, so called, on the wood road leading southerly from the Williamsburg inter-