Pines to be made on Saturday, the 24th, with instructions if possible to advance to the Seven Pines or the forks of the direct road to Richmond and the road turning to the right into the road leading from New Bridge to Richmond, and to hold that point if practicable. Under these instructions, with the addition of two batteries of Colonel Bailey's New York first Artillery and Colonel Gregg's cavalry, we pushed the reconnaissance, not without considerable opposition, to the Seven Pines on the day referred to, one mile and a half beyond the Pines on the following day, and to a line perpendicular to the railroad from Richmond to West Point, intersecting it midway between the fifth and sixth mile-posts on the following day, and on the day after, the 27th, extended it across to the Nine-mile road, where it is intersected by the road to Garnett's house and thence by this road, bearing to the right, our picket lines extended to the Chickahominy. This line from the river across the railroad to the Williamsburg road was about 3 miles long, and was picketed at first by the First Brigade, afterward by Casey's division, but placed more directly under the charge and protection of the regiments of the First Brigade, who were encamped along its entire length for that purpose, the picket line proposed to be kept up and its supports to the same, from the left of the above picket line on the Williamsburg road to the White Oak Swamp, being especially intrusted to General Couch.
This was the line of our advance on Saturday, the 31st of May, at 12 m., when two shells thrown into our camp first announced the hostile intentions of the enemy. No alarm was felt by any one, for it was seldom that twenty-four hours passed that we did not exchange similar salutations. Soon thereafter it was reported that an attack was impending. The usual orders were issued, and within half an hour the troops moved to positions that were assigned to them by General Casey.
Being at this time on the Nine-mile road, near a breastwork fronting the Old Tavern, then under construction, and judging from the discharges of musketry becoming frequent that something serious was intended, I hastened in the direction indicated by the fire and soon arrived upon the ground, on the Wiliamsburg road, about three-quarters of a mile in front of the Seven Pines, where I found General Casey, who had placed the One hundredth New York, Colonel Brown, on the left of that road, behind a field of large timber that had been cut down. On the right of the same road was paced Captain Spratt's New York battery of four pieces. On the right of this were three companies of the Eleventh Maine, Colonel Plaisted, and on the right of the Eleventh maine were eight companies of the One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania, Colonel Davis. Four companies of the Eleventh Maine were on picket duty, but being driven in, formed with the Fifty-sixth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Jourdan, at his encampment in line of battle parallel with and about 800 yards in rear of the picket lines, 200 yards to the left of the railroad. Colonel Dodge's Fifty-second Pennsylvania, supporting the picket line on the extreme right, formed at his encampment on the Nine-mile road, three-quarters of a mile in rear of the large Garnett field. The remaining companies of the One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania and Eleventh Maine were on picket duty along the large field in the direction of the Chickahominy.
Soon after my arrival upon the ground, about 1 o'clock p. m., the fire then being frequent and from the direction of the main Richmond Stage road, General Casey gave an order to the One hundredth New York, One hundred and fourth Pennsylvania, and Eleventh Maine to charge, when, as reported by Colonel Davis-