War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0091 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

Search Civil War Official Records

He soon discovered the enemy in force in my old camp, who commenced to advance on him. At the same time a force same down the railroad in front of the regiment, advanced on his left, and forced this regiment back. Colonel Jones fell back to a favorable position at the left of the wood behind Allen's house, and received the enemy in gallant style. The force of the enemy, however, beginning to multiply, the Californians retired fighting through the woods to the edge of the field, in front of the line of battle formed by Sumner's corps. Here it halted on the second advanced line, composed of the Sixty-third New York, Colonel Burke, on the right; Twentieth Massachusetts, Colonel Lee, on the left, and the Fifth Hampshire, which had previously been the left of the advanced line.

The enemy were here checked, but anticipating a renewal of attack, General Sedgwick directed me to take command of this line. The Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, under its gallant young lieutenant-colonel, won high encomiums from the corps commander, who knows what hard fighting means.

About 12 o'clock we received orders to fall back upon Savage's, passing through the lines of General Heintzelman, when lying at Savage's, expecting an attack in the direction of Bottom's Bridge. About 4.30 o'clock the enemy appeared in the corner of the field to our left rear, having evidently followed us, and, avoiding Heintzelman's work, passed to the left of the railroad. General Sumner ordered me to take two regiments and move promptly back across the field abut half a mile, and hold the woods between the Williamsburg road and the railroad. Before I reached the position a scout informed me that the enemy were in large force on the Williamsburg road. Seeing that both of my flanks would be exposed, I sent to General Sumner for another regiment. Fortunately the enemy did not attack until Lieutenant-Colonel Miller, First Minnesota Regiment, reported, and I had time to throw it to the left, across the Williamsburg road, with the left flank retired. I found I still had not sufficient length of line to cover the ground, and was obliged to move Colonel Baxter to the right and throw back his right flank to cover the railroad, leaving a gap in the center of my line.

These dispositions were in progress when the enemy attacked most furiously with infantry, he having been playing with artillery upon me during the whole movement across the field, which was answered by General Sumner's batteries. The battle road along the whole line, but concentrated gradually toward my two weak points, the center and the Williamsburg road. I urged more regiments, which were promptly sent me. Before these arrived, however, the enemy made a rush on the center, wounded me and killed the captain of the left company of Baxter's (Captain McGonigle), forced through to the fence, and flaunted their flag across the rails, broke the line for a moment, but the brave men rallied and drove them back.

The fight then moved toward the Williamsburg road, when most opportunely the Eighty-eighth New York, Colonel---, came across the field double-quick and cheering. I threw into the gap on the road, when the enemy opened artillery and infantry upon them, but they never faltered - not only went up to my line but beyond it, and drove secesh before them. The Eighty-second New York, Colonel Hudson, then came over the field, and I advanced it to the gap of the center. It too advanced beyond the original line. The Fifteenth Massachusetts coming up. I relieved Colonel Morehead with it, and Colonel Baxter with the Twentieth Massachusetts, Colonel Lee. The First California