occupied the evening before on Malvern Hill. These brigades were posted on the right of the James River road, looking westward. The other brigade of the division-Abercrombie's-lay a few hundred yards to the rear. The Seventh Massachusetts and Second Rhode Island being on detached service much weakened the command. Part of Porter's corps was to my left across the road, including two batteries. Kingsbury's splendid battery (formerly Griffin's) was on my left front; Palmer's brigade in a strong wooded ravine a little to the right of the battery, and running to the front 200 yards. One of Howe's regiments, Sixty-second New York, was strongly posted in a peach orchard to the rear and between the battery and Palmer. To the right of Palmer was an oat field, sloping to the front and skirted on the right by a tangled marsh and wooded bank.
This was my right and held by General Howe. In the course of the morning he was re-enforced by part of Abercrombie's command, and the balance occupied the ground with Palmer. My own artillery being several miles to the rear, General Heintzelman sent me a battery for my right, but afterward withdrew it, to place it, probably, on his own front. To my right lay Kearny, who during the day advanced two regiments of Robinson's brigade to sustain Howe in case of need. The ground in front of me was open to within 100 to 500 yards from right to left. Across the road in front of Griffin the country was open for three-fourths of a mile, making it very favorable for our artillery.
General McClellan rode over the ground in the morning with the engineer officers, and designated the ground different corps were to occupy. General Porter also rode up about the same time. By 8 o'clock a. m. there were signs of the rebels in front, and at 9 o'clock Berdan's Sharpshooters were driven in. The rebels were driven off by artillery alone. From this time until about 1 p. m. the contest was on both sides in the hands of the artillerists; then they pushed forward a column to carry the left of the line held by Griffin. They were driven back disorganized and cut up by our artillery alone. Their batteries played upon us without intermission, but owing to the care used in masking the men our loss from it was not serious, with the exception of a battery to the right, that enfiladed my position.
About 3 p. m. a brigade broke through the opening of the woods in front of Palmer and Abercrombie, but Kingsbury's battery, together with the steady fire of the Tenth Massachusetts and a charge of the Thirty-sixth New York, drove them back in confusion, the latter regiment capturing the colors of the Fourteenth North Carolina in hand conflicts. This movement of the rebels was a rash one or a ruse to draw our troops on the disadvantageous ground-undoubtedly the latter-and it did not succeed. The enemy were now massing large columns on our front.
At about 4.30 p. m., after an incessant cannonade, they boldly pushed forward a large column from their right in the open field to carry Griffin's position. The fire of the three batteries was concentrated upon them. Kingsbury's battery, having been withdrawn for ammunition, was relieved by three guns of battery C, Rhode Island Artillery, and two guns (Allen's, Fifth Massachusetts), under Captain Weeden. The attacking column kept on, continually re-enforced, until within range of Griffin's Rifles, when it was stopped and formed line.
From this time until 8 p. m. there was enacted one of the sublimes sights ever presented in war, resulting in a glorious victory to our arms.