War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0943 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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No. 103. Report of Major General Daniel H. Hill,

C. S. Army, commanding division.


GENERAL: I have the honor to report the part taken by my division in the battle of Seven Pines, on May 31 and June 1:

Two of my brigades (that of Garland and that of Rodes) were sent out on picket duty a few days before the battle. Garland guarded the Williamsburg road, while Rodes defended the Charles City road. Both of these officers made armed reconnaissances by my order and under my personal supervision. These reconnaissances satisfied me that the enemy was not in force on the Charles City road, but was on the Williamsburg road, and that he had fortified himself about the Seven Pines. The fact was further established that the whole of Keye's corps had crossed the Chickahominy.

These facts I communicated to General Johnson about noon on Friday, May 30. I received a prompt answer from him, saying that, being satisfied by my report of the presence of the enemy in force in my immediate front, he had resolved to attack him, and directed me to serve with Major-General Longstreet and under his orders.

I was directed by General Longstreet to move with my whole division at dawn on the Williamsburg road and to lead the attack on the Yankees. I was, however, directed not to move until relieved by Huger's division.

The relieving force not having reached me at 1 o'clock, the signal guns were fired, and my division moved off in fine style, Rodes' brigade on the right of the road, supported by Rains' brigade; Garland in the left, supported by G. B. Anderson. Each wing was preceded by a regiment deployed as skirmishers. Having been long delayed in waiting for the relieving force, the right wing did not advance for a quarter of an hour after the left. This exposed Garland and Anderson to the whole Yankee force. The right wing was hurried forward and came up handsomely, preserving the line, although wading through the mud and water in places 2 or 3 feet deep. I now detached General Rains, to make a wide flank movement to take the Yankee works in reserve, while Rodes moved steadily to the front. Before he (Rodes) reached the Yankee abatis Garland and Anderson had captured a 2-gun battery, enfilading the road. A heavy column of re-enforcements was now coming up to the assistance of the Yankee general (Casey), commanding at Seven Pines. Having previously put the battery of Bondurant in position, I know noticed commotion in the camps and redoubts, and indications of evacuating the position. Rodes took skillful advantage of this commotion, and moved up his brigade in beautiful order and took possession of the redoubts and rifle pits. So rapid was the advance that six pieces were abandoned by the Yankees. These Rodes had turned upon the retreating column with effect. Carter galloped up with his pieces, and these, with the captured guns, suc-