S, except the fragments of those companies which assisted in driving the enemy from F and taking the battery.
The Mississippi and North Carolina regiments (M and N C) advanced to B and F with unbroken front in good condition to continue the fight.
I have the honor to be, respectfully,
I. R. TRIMBLE,
Major General R. S. EWELL,
Commanding Third Division, Valley District.
P. S.- I casually omitted to mention the name of Lieutenant Verdery, adjutant of the Twenty-first Georgia Regiment, who behaved with distinguished coolness and bravery, and did signal service in holding that regiment in its position while under the heaviest fire.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH BRIGADE,
July 30, 1862
GENERAL: I respectfully append the following as a continuation of the operations of the Seventh Brigade from June 28 to July 4 inclusive:
On June 28 the brigade rested on the field of battle, and was chiefly employed in taking care of the wounded and burial of the dead.
On Sunday, 29th, orders were received to march down the Chickahominy. During the delay of starting I halted about 9 o'clock at a dwelling on the battle-field and sent an officer up a tree which had been prepared by the enemy as an observatory. This officer could with a glass plainly see the Yankee forces moving southward from Reynoldsville (General McClellan's headquarters). The smoke of burning stores could also be distinctly seen. I wrote a note addressed to General Lee or General Jackson stating these facts and that the Federal Army was certainly retreating. General Lee answered the note, and stated that the enemy were in heavy force on the right, and that he had tried to reach them with artillery, but without effect.
Meantime four large conflagrations had become plainly visible, and infantry, artillery, and wagons were seen moving amid clouds of dust in a southerly direction. I again wrote to General Lee, then 2 miles distant, communicating these facts, and expressing the opinion that the enemy were certainly retreating with great precipitation, as burning stores were a sure indication, and ought to be vigorously pursued.
It was afterward known that General McClellan did break up the camps on Sunday morning at the place referred to and commenced a rapid retreat.
Under previous orders we continued our march about 10 o'clock, and after several halts reached the York River Railroad near Bottom's Bridge about 2 o'clock with the Third Division. After marching and counter marching several times a halt of several hours was made 2 miles north of the railroad. Several times in the afternoon I had called attention to the dense clouds of dust observed on the north side of the Chickahominy; that it plainly a rapid retreat of the enemy, and that our forces should be thrown across that stream to intercept their flight or increase their disorder. A practicable ford was discovered near the point where we halted, and General Ewell had decided, under the discretion allowed him, to cross and attack them