War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0933 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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No. 100. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Durkee,

Ninety-eighth New York Infantry.


DEAR SIR: I have the honor to report that on Saturday, May 31, the Ninety-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers was engaged in the battle that occurred on that day. The regiment was placed in advance of the fort, and maintained its ground until flanked by the enemy on both sides by a superior force, when we were compelled to retire. We immediately formed behind the rifle pits and remained there until our whole force gave way, when we retired to the woods and formed again, but suddenly finding ourselves again outflanked on the left we fell back through the woods, formed again, and advanced in line of battle toward the hottest of the fight. Our friends being in front of us, and the brush being so thick we could not distinguish between friend and foe, we did not prove so effective as desired. After remaining in that position about thirty minutes we retired from the field.

Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing is 70.*

Respectfully submitted.


Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Ninety-eighth Regiment New York Vols.

Brigadier-General PALMER.

No. 101. Report of General Joseph E. Johnson,

C. S. Army, commanding Army of Northern Virginia, and resulting correspondence.

RICHMOND, VA., June 24, 1862.

SIR: Before the t of May I had ascertained from trusty scouts that Keyes' corps was encamped on this side of the Chickahominy, near the Williamsburg road. On that day Major General D. H. Hill reported a strong body immediately in his front. On receiving this report I determined to attack them next morning, hoping to be able to defeat Keyes' corps completely in its more advanced position before it could be re-enforced. Written orders were dispatched to Major-Generals Hill, Huger, and G. W. Smith. General Longstreet, being near my headquarters, received verbal instructions. The receipt of the orders was acknowledged. General Hill, supported by the division of General Longstreet (who had the direction of operations on the right), was to advance by the Williamsburg road to attack the enemy in front. General Huger, with his division, was to move down force enough to occupy his division. General Smith was to march to the junction of the New Bridge road and Nine-mile road, to be in readiness either to fall on Keyes' right flank or to cover Longstreet's left. They were to move at daybreak. Heavy and protracted rains during the afternoon and night,


*But see revised statement, p.762.