War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0945 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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mile farther in, and prisoners were taken from three divisions. We had, therefore, fought with the odds against us of two to one in numbers, and this disparity rendered more formidable by abatis and earth-works.

At daylight next morning I learned that heavy re-enforcements had come up to the support of Keyes. Longstreet's, Huger's, and Heitzelman's. We also learned that General G. W. Smith had been checked upon the Nine-mile road, and that no help could be expected in that direction. I therefore resolved to concentrate my troops around the captured works, in the hope that the Yankees would attempt to retake them. Orders were accordingly given to the advance brigades, commanded by Pickett, Pryor, and Wilcox, to draw in their extended lines and form near the late headquarters of General Casey.

Before theses orders were received a furious attack was made upon Generals Armistead, Mahone, Pickett, Pryor, and Wilcox, to draw in their brigades on the left of the road. Armistead's men fled early in the action, with the exception of a few heroic companies, with which that gallant officer maintained his ground against an entire brigade. Mahone withdrew his brigade without any orders. I sent up Colston's to replace him, but he did not engage the Yankees, as I expected him to do. Pickett, Pryor, and Wilcox received their orders to fall back after the firing began, and wisely resolved not to do so until the assault was repulsed. As soon as that was done Wilcox and Pryor withdrew, but Pickett help his ground against the odds of ten to one for several hours longer, and only retired when the Yankees had ceased to annoy him. The Yankees were too prudent to attack us in position, and contented themselves for the balance of the day in a desultory fire of artillery, which hurt no one, and was only attended wit the gratifying result of stampeding the amateur fighters and the camp plunderers from Richmond.

The batteries of Maurin, Stribling, and Watson had been added to those of the preceding day by General Longstreet, and an occasional shot was fired in response to the Yankee artillery.

The day was spent in removing 6,700 muskets and rifles in fine condition, ordnance, commissary, and medical stores. Ten captured guns had been removed the night before. As the Yankees occupies the ground in our rear, on the Nine-mile road, General Longstreet sent me an order after dark to withdraw my whole command.

The thirteen brigades were not got together until near midnight, and the delicate operation of withdrawing 30,000 men in the presence of a superior force of the enemy had to be performed before daylight. The artillery and wagons had to pass through slushes and mud-holes over their axles, and the whole road was almost impassable for infantry. Nevertheless, we regained our own intrenchments by sunrise without leaving behind a gun, caisson, wagon, or even a straggling soldier.

The officers and men of other divisions who especially distinguished themselves will be appropriately noticed by their own commanders. It will only be expected of me to call attention to gallantry and good conduct among my own men.

Generals Gerland, G. B. Anderson, and Rodes, of my division, who led the attack in front, did all that brave and skillful officers could possibly do.

The flank attack of General Rains was most opportune and important. General Garland, when his brigade was not actually engaged, reported to me with his aide and adjutant to serve in my staff. In that