War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0674 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

the Engineers, had been attached to my staff, but was relieved from that position; and although I had applied for his services to the headquarters of the army more than once, I could not obtain them, nor was any other sent in his place.

As to the time when the attack on the enemy's batteries in front was made, Brigadier-General Armistead, whose advanced troops led in the attack from the center, states in this report that in the charge the brigades of Mahone and Wright came up immediately on his right, Cobb's brigade closely following his advance.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,




Commanding Army of Northern Virginia.

The above report in published by permission of the War Department in advance of the report of General Lee, through whom, however, it was submitted. This course was rendered desirable to meet strictures which had been made by an officer of inferior rank on my military operations near Richmond. It is therefore elaborate and necessarily minute in detail.

It will be seen by this report and the documents in support of it, first, that my attack on the enemy at Malvern Hill was made after repeated orders from my superiors, and that it could have been made by me in no other way, having officers of superior rank to me both on my left and right-Jackson and Holmes; secondly, that the forces engaged on our side were inferior in numbers to those of the enemy, who had massed his whole army; that, nevertheless, the enemy was routed, leaving his dead and wounded on the ground and throwing away his arms in large quantities, with every evidence of great panic, our troops sleeping on the field of battle which was deserted by him, and, thirdly, that our loss in killed and wounded was less than 2,900 men, less in proportion than that sustained in most of the previous battles.

This report General Lee has forwarded to the President with his testimony as to the uniform alacrity with which I discharged the difficult duty devolved upon me and the great exertions made by me in its performance. Every officer and every soldier engaged in the battles of Savage Station and Malvern Hill can point with pride to the results on both sides of these victories as the best evidence that these great exertions were crowned with triumphant success.

Before the battles of Richmond I was honored with offers thrice made by the President of independent and important commands in the Southwest, but at my earnest solicitation he was pleased to permit a suspension of these orders, to allow me an opportunity to bear my part in the defense of the capital of my native State and of the Confederacy, then sorely beleaguered. The enemy having been routed and the capital saved, I was proceeding to my station, under orders, when my presence was deemed necessary in Richmond for explanations in justice to myself. They having been made to the satisfaction of the War Department as well as of General Lee, I proceeded immediately to the command in the Southwest, to which the President had assigned me, reserving to myself the right, as well as satisfaction, of attending at a more appropriate time to matters purely personal.