The whole army having retired, my brigade was noiselessly withdrawn, and, following the direction of its march, we debouched at day-break upon the road parallel to and upon the James River, where in the course of the morning (Tuesday) we occupied a position upon the crest of the hill at Malvern, exposed to the cannonading of that day. At sundown the brigade was directed to advance in line of battle to meet a body of the enemy a mile in our front, when, night intervening,the troops lay on their arms until, obeying the order to retire in the place of its succession, my brigade in compact order marched for this camp.
The success which invariably attended the covering movements assigned to my brigade must be attributed to the habits of discipline acquired in months of active and arduous service. That no disaster occurred is due to perfect obedience to orders and those dispositions made to foil the sagacity of a most enterprising foe.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. FRENCH,
Lieutenant C. STUART DRAPER,
Aide-de-Camp and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Richardson's Div.
No. 22. Report of Lieutenant Colonel William P. Baily,
Second Delaware Infantry, of the engagement at Peach Orchard, battle of Savage Station, engagement at White Oak Swamp Bridge, and battles of Glendale and Malvern Hill.
HDQRS. SECOND REGIMENT DELAWARE VOLUNTEERS, Camp on James River, July 5, 1862.
SIR: In obedience to orders from the general commanding brigade I moved from the intrenchments at Fair Oaks at daylight on the morning of the 29th ultimo and marched to Allen's farm, where I took position in line; shortly after changed front, my right wing in the woods, the left outside. Then, in accordance with orders, I marched from that place to Savage Station, but losing my horse and becoming exhausted after arriving at the station, I was compelled to turn the command over to Captain D. L. Striker, and did not resume it until the commencement of the engagement at Nelson's farm.
What took place during my absence from duty Captain Striker reports as follows:
In obedience to orders from Lieutenant-Colonel Baily the command of the regiment devolved upon me on the afternoon of June 29, at Savage Station. I was immediately ordered to move the regiment 300 yards to the left of the Williamsburg road, where we lay in line of battle until 6 p.m., at which time I was ordered to advance to the railroad and throw out skirmishers. We then fell back to the edge of the woods, and at 10 p.m. I was ordered to draw in my skirmishers and reported to General French's headquarters, and were to White Oak Swamp at daylight of the 30th, where we halted, and Lieutenant-Colonel Baily took command.
On the morning of July 1 the command again devolved upon me, and I was ordered to follow the Sixty-sixth New York Regiment. On our arrival at a high hill on the James River the regiment was formed in line of battle and so remained until sundown, at which time we were ordered to the front, where we remained until near morning July 2. We then took up our line of march in the rear of the Sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, and arrived at this place.
At Nelson's farm I was ordered to take position on the right of and a few paces to the rear of the Fifty-third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers,