War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0937 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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SEPTEMBER 28, 1862.

Secretary of War will communicate a copy of this application to General Johnson, that he may, if he chooses to do so, put his statement in the exact form of charges and specifications, and should he decline to adopt that course the request of General Huger, presented as an alternative, will be granted, and a court of inquiry ordered as soon as the state of the public service will permit.


Extracts of such portions of General J. E. Johnson's report of the battle of Seven Pines as refer to Major-General [Huger's] division, with General Huger's remarks.

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General Hill, supported by the division of General Longstreet, who had the direction of operations upon the right, was to advance by the Williamsburg road to attack the enemy in front. General Huger, with his division, was to move down the Charles City road in order to attack in flank the troops who might be engaged with Hill and Longstreet, unless he found in his front force enough to occupy his division.

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Heavy and protracted rains during the afternoon and night, by swelling the stream of the Chickahominy, increased the probability of our having to deal with no other troops than those of Keyes. The same cause prevented the prompt and punctual movement of our troops. Those of Smith, Hill, and Longstreet were in position early enough, however, to commence operations by 8 a. m.

Major-General Longstreet, unwilling to make a partial attack, instead o f the combined movement which had been planned, waited from hour to hour for General Huger's division. At length, at 2 p. m., he determined to attack without those troops. He accordingly commenced his advance at that hour, opening the engagement with artillery and skirmishers.

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Had Major-General Huger's division been in position and ready for action when those of Smith, Longstreet, and Hill moved, I am satisfied that Keyes' corps would have been destroyed instead of merely defeated. (See Longstreet's report.) Had it gone into action even at 4 o'clock the victory would have been much more complete.


Appended hereto are the instructions-two letters from General Johnson to Major-General Huger. No mention is made in them that General Longstreet had the direction of operations upon the right, and it will be seen from these letters that the plan of attack was not communicated to him. He, the senior officer present, was deprived of the position due to his rank and kept in ignorance of the troops he was to act with. General Longstreet's troops were not in position to commence operations by 8 a. m., and General Longstreet makes no mention of the delay by the rain of the previous night. When General Longstreet's troops moved to support General Hill's attack, General Huger's division moved down the Charles City road at the same time with three brigades of General Longstreet's division. This report con-