War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0992 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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marks his character as an officer. Supposing himself to be mortally wounded, he refused to allow his men to leave the ranks for the pur- pose of carrying him to the rear. Becoming insensible, he was restored to consciousness to find himself a prisoner in the hands of the enemy. They could never have taken him alive iu any other manner. Just before dark three fresh brigades were ready to move forward into close action. By this time, too, the strong position the enemy had defended was better understood, and there is no reason to doubt that Hoods brigade of Texans, upon the right, and Griffiths of Mississippi- ans, on the left, supported by the brigade of General Semmes, would have enabled us in one short hour more of daylight to drive the enemy into the swamps of the Chickahominy. As it was, darkness compelled us to relinquish an unfinished task, and the troops were withdrawn from the wooded swamp immediately in contact with the enemy and bivouacked in the open field within musket range of their strong d~- fensive position without molestation. Knowing that General Johnstons intention had been to strike~ a prompt, hard blow early in the morning and press the enemy rapidly in order to finish the work before their troops could be re-enforced on this side of the swollen Chickahominy and then return to our position protecting Richmond before they could make a counter-attack against the city in our rear, I felt that the late hour at which our attack was m~ide, allowing the enemy to be re-enforced and diminishing the time for our operations, had materially interfered with the full execution of the plans of the general, and although we had driven the enemy back at all points, our success, checked on the approach of darkness, was but part of what had been hoped for. After leaving the wood I heard for the first time that General John- ston had been severely wounded and compelled to leave the field. This unfortunate casualty placed me, as second in rank, in command of the Army of Northern Virginia, which position 12 held until about 2 p. m. of the next day, when I was informed by His Excellency the President that he had assigned General Robert E. Lee to that duty. A few minutes after General Lee arrived and at once assumed corn- mand. Between 2 and 3 oclock in the morning of June 1 I had a confbr- ence with General Longstreet, and learning that he had ordered General Hugers division, which had not been engaged upon May 31, to move from the Charles City to the Williamsburg Stage road, one of the bri- gades of this division was directed to take position, as soon as practi- cable, upon the Nine-mile road, and, together with that of General Ripley, form a reserve for my division, which General Whiting con- manded. 1he troops of the left wing and center remained substan- tially in the position occupied the previous day, protecting our rear and the city of Richmond from any movement of the enemy across the Chickahominy at or above New Bridge. General Longstreet was directed to push his successes of the previ- ous day as far as practicable, pivoting his movement upon the position of General Whiting, on his left. The latter was directed to make a diversion in favor of General Longstreets real attack, and, if pressed by the enemy, hold at all hazards the fork or junction of the New Bridge and Nine-mile roads. In the morning General Long~treet found the enemy in very large force in his front, pressing him so strongly that he considered it advis- able not to send the brigade from General Hugers division, and later I ordered three additional brigades to his support.