War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0926 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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comrades of other regiments and of other divisions whenever we could be of service, and when at dark the enemy swept all before him we were the last to leave the field.

Since the battle of Seven Pines, now nearly three weeks, a force ten times that of Casey and Couch have not been able to regain the line of outposts established by the First Brigade on the 26th of May, our present line being half a mile in rear thereof.

None of the brigade, regimental, of company baggage was lost. Some of the shelter-tents, knapsacks, and blankets fell into the hands of the enemy, which was the natural consequence of being encamped in close proximity with the outposts.

Conduct such as this, if not worthy of commendation, should not call forth censure, for censure undeserved chills the ardor and daring of the soldier and dishonors both the living and the dead.

Very respectfully, &c.,



Lieutenant FOSTER, A. A. A. G., Casey's Div., Army of the Potomac.

No. 95. Report of Brigadier General Henry W. Wessells,

U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.


Near Savage Station, June 3, 1862.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by this brigade in the action of the 31st ultimo, near the Seven Pines, in front of Richmond. Between 12 and 1 o'clock p. m. our pickets posted in front were attacked by the enemy. I at once, pursuant to instructions from the brigadier-general commanding the division, sent forward the One hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major Gazzam, to their support. As the firing soon indicated a formidable advance of the enemy I at once ordered the brigade under arms and formed the line of battle in accordance with the instructions of the division commander. The One hundred and first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Morris, was placed on the right of the Richmond road perpendicular to it, the right flank of the battalion extending into the woods and in rear of the newly-constructed rifle pits. The Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Howell, in rear of the rifle pits, extended from the redoubt across the Richmond road to near the left of the One hundred and first. The Ninety-sixth New York Volunteers, Colonel Fairman, was placed in advance of the rifle pits and to the left of the Eighty fifth. The One hundred and first and in such manner as to observe the Eighty fifth. The One hundred and third being too far to the front for my immediate supervision, its movements were left to the judgment of its commander, whose report is herewith inclosed.

The increase of musketry soon told that the One hundred and third was engaged. Driven from its position, it fell back firing and again made a stand. Assailed by overwhelming numbers from the front and flank, it again fell back to a new position. Here the enemy approached from the right, and, exposed to a terrific fire from the front and both flanks, its flag-staff shot away, the regiment again fell back, followed by the enemy, who was seen to emerge from the woods in front and ad-