War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 1051 SKIRMISH NEAR SEVEN PINES. Chapter XXIII.

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pickets, and they retreated only in compliance with their instructions, is to me beyond a doubt, based as it is on the authority of five com- missioned officers present. For further particulars I beg to refer you to my report of the 15th instant, addressed to you.* I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant, ROBERT NUGENT, Colonel, Corndg. Sixty-ninth Regt., Y. Y. V., Meaghers Brig. Capt. JOSEPH S. McCoy, Assistant Adjutant- General. No. 5. Report of Brig. Gen. Rosu~ell S. Ripley, C. S. Army, commanding F~fth Brigade, D. IL Hills division. HEADQUARTERS BRIGADE, Turners Field, June 16, 1862. UAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders froni the headquarters of the right wing I caused a line of skirmishers to be formed across the point occupied by Hugers division, composed as fol- lows: Col. M. S. Stokes, First North Carolina Volunteers, on the right; Col. Gaston Meares, Third North Carolina Volunteers, in the center, and Col. Robert A. Smith, Forty-fourth Georgia Regiment, on the left, extending from White Oak Swamp, across the Williamsburg road, to the York River Railroad. Each regiment threw out from three to six ~conmpanies of skirmishers, the remainder being, under orders of their respective colonels, in reserve. Col. William Gibsons (Forty-eighth Georgia) regiment was held in readiness for such service as required. Soon after 3 oclock the line of skirmishers advanced along the whole front, driving in the enemys pickets to the close proximity of their cammios. Colonel Stokes encountered the difficult ground of the swami), which prevented a rapid advance, but drove in the pickets, capturing I captain an(l 2 privates of the enemy. Colonel Meares advanced in the center to the battle. ground of the Seven Pines to withii~ 150 yards of the enemys works, which they appear to have strengthened, but which are not as yet armed with artillery. Colonel Meares was re- entorced by Colonel Gibsons regiment during his advance. Colonel Smith pushed the enemy back to the abatis covering the field in vicinity of the enemys works near the Williamsburg road and drove l)ack his pickets near the railroad. A heavy storm of rain prevailing from the time of the advance until night-frill prevented an accurate reconnaissance. The enemy, however, was in force behind his lines, and, although his pickets gave back readily, appeared willing to give battle in position. The advanced positions were held until near 9 p. in., when, in obe- dience to orders, the line of skirmishers was slightly withdrawn and the reserves of the different regiments held in hand. During the night some picket firing occurred, and this morning about 4 oclock Colonel Smiths regiment was threatened by a force of in- fantry, artillery, and cavalry. *Not found.