War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0619 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

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we were in. I suggested to General Hill the advantage of making an attack on this battery, and that it must be successful, as the enemy would not expect one from our position, and under cover of the darkness we could approach them undiscovered. General Hill did not seem inclined to make the movement. We rode back to the brigade, conversed some time, when I again urged the propriety of an attack, as we could approach so near undiscovered as to insure success, the enemy having no skirmishers in our front. But he declined as before to order the attack and directed me to make no further movement. I occupied this position until about 12 o'clock, when all firing had ceased for more than two hours, and as General Ewell and General Hill had both been absent during this time I retired the brigade into the woods to bivouac for the night, as the men were completely wornout and no further action expected.

The next morning by dawn I went off to ask for orders when I found the whole army in the utmost disorder-thousands of straggling men asking every passer-by for their regiments; ambulances, wagons, and artillery obstructing every road, and altogether, in a drenching rain, presenting a scene of the most woful and disheartening confusion.

The Seventh Brigade, not having been fairly brought into action, was in good order next morning, and prepared to move in a body by 6 o'clock. Orders were received from General Jackson, whom I met casually, to march to the church, near which we remained all day July 2.

Thursday, July 3, we had orders to march to the front; did so, and encamped about 8 miles from, James River, opposite Westover.

July 4 we again marched to the front; reached a point about 4 miles from James River, where line of battle was formed and skirmishers thrown out half a mile in advance, who occasionally exchanged shots with the enemy's scouts. At night one of my regiments was put on picket. We lay in camp until July 8, when we were ordered to move at dark to the rear, and on July 10 encamped 4 miles from Richmond, scarcely able to march from excessive fatigue and prostration, the result of constant fighting and marching in a country where air and water were both impure, and rapidly breaking down the health of the army.

I append below a list of killed and wounded in the before-mentioned engagements.*

Yours, respectfully,



Major General R. S. EWELL,

Commanding Division.

Numbers 256. Report of Colonel Leroy A. Stafford,

Ninth Louisiana Infantry, commanding Eighth Brigade of the battles of Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill.


July 30, 1862.

SIR: In compliance with instructions from division headquarters requiring a report of the part taken by this brigade in the late battles


*Embodied in returns, pp. 608, 975.