War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0979 BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES. Chapter XXIII.

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Report of Got. John B. Gordon, AS~Xth Alabama Infantry. HEADQUARTERS SIXTH ALABAMA REGIMENT, Near Richmond, Va., June 7, 1862. MAJOR: In accordance with orders from brigade headquarters I have to report that on the morning of the 31st ultimo I moved my regiment across to the Williamsburg road by the left flank, and having reminded them of the proclamation of the infamous Butler and of the fate which awaited us if defeated, deployed them as skirmishers in front of the bri- gade, with the left resting on the road. They were moved forward as the skirmishers from the brigade of General Garland, deployed on the left of the road, approached my left flank. This forward movement was difficult and fatiguing in the extreme, and cau only be appreciated by a knowledge of the fact that the guide, in order to move with Gen- eral Garlands skirmishers, was thrown necessarily ou the left, where the woods impeded the march much less than on the right and center. Passing through swamps and dense underbrush, these portions of the line came not unfrequently in contact with hedges of briers so tall and dense as to render it necessary for the skirmishers to file around them and retake their places in line by the double-quick. The enemys ad- vaiiced posts were first reached and attacked by General Garlands skirmishers, then by my left, then by my center, and finally by my right, demonstrating that the enemys line did not extend across the Williamsburg road at right angles, but nearly parallel to the general course of the Chickahominy River. As my skirmishers entered the open field in which the enemy had erected his earthworks a regiment was moved up in line of battle covering my left wing. Upon this regi- ment I ordered a forward movement under their fire, in order to get within easy range for my rifles. A few rounds were exchanged an(l they retired to their intrenchments. From the woods in front of my right and center and on the left of the enemys works he had by this time thrown forward one or two regi- ments, protected by a heavy rail fence. My skirmishers were imme- diately ordered forward until within easy range, and then, lying down behind stumps and logs, they poured a most deadly fire for some min- utes into the solid ranks of the enemy, when, re-enforced and assisted l)y the Twelfth Alabama Regiment, this line of the enemy was also (Iriven under cover of the woods. Under this fire from the enemy some of my best officers and many men fell. Captain Fox, Company E, no less brave than accomplished, was killed; Capt. A. M. Gordon, Com- pany ID, seriously wounded. The brigade was now being formed in line of battle just in rear of my line of skirmishers, when, upon application to General Rodes, I was ordered to form my regiment on the right of the brigade and charge with it the enemys earthworks. These were soon occupied by the bri- gade. Here the troops on my left halted, but the order not having reached me, my regiment moved on into the enemys camps and captured a stand of colors. Here an incident occurred which, though insignificant in itself, is worthy of record, as evincing the spirit of the brave mue~ under my command. Ordered back to form on the brigade, I moved by the right-about until I reached my position, when, anxious to screen my men as soon as possible, I ordered them to lie down. A charge on the abatis and swamp was soon ordered. The command was giver, Forward (and pausing for the men to rise), march. The entire regi