Numbers 294. Report of Brigadier General Howell Cobb,
C. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade, Magruder's division, of the battles of Savage Station and Malvern Hill.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE,
August 12, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit a succinct report of the operations of the brigade under my command from the morning of June 29 to July 1 instant, inclusive:
For several days previous to June 29 my command has been kept day and night under arms, prepared at a moment's notice to move in co-operation with the operations of our army on the other side of the Chickahominy.
On the night of the 28th the men were required to remain in the trenches at the position then occupied by the brigade at the burnt chimney, on the Nine-mile road.
From the trenches we moved on the morning of the 29th, expecting to find the enemy still occupying their strong line of fortifications immediately in our front. It was now ascertained, however, that they had evacuated their works during the night and our march was continued in their pursuit. On reaching a point not far distant from Savage Station, on York River Railroad, the enemy were reported to have made a stand in our front. The division of General Magruder was here drawn up in line of battle, the brigade commanded by the brave and lamented Griffith on the right and my brigade on the left. The remaining brigades of General Magruder's command I did not know. In line of battle our march continued to Savage Station without encountering the enemy. At that point the enemy were first seen. A few well-directed shots from the Troup Artillery battery drove from our right the fire of the enemy in our sight; but the subsequent events of the day showed that they were then in strength, prepared to make a stubborn resistance. My brigade was placed on the left of the railroad, my right resting on the road.
The position to which I was ordered was in the rear of the woods, which separated us from an open field in our front. Unwilling to give the enemy the advantage of the woods in event of their advance, I advance my line some 400 yards through these woods and occupied a position on the skirt of the woods, with an open field in my front.
The battle of that evening was fought on the right of the railroad, and hence my brigade, though exposed from their advanced position to the continued fire of the enemy, had no opportunity of participating actively in the fight.
On the morning of the 30th, the enemy having disappeared from our front, we again took up the line of march, and after a most fatiguing march were placed that night in line of battle on the field where the enemy had been successfully met and overcome by General Longstreet's division during the day. My brigade occupied the second line, in support of Griffith's brigade, now commanded by Colonel by Colonel Barksdale, both on the left of the Williamsburg road. The lines were scarcely formed when the morning of July 1 summoned us to another march in pursuit of the enemy, who had again disappeared during the night. We had not proceeded far when, meeting with the command of General Jackson, it was found that no enemy was in our front, and returning by the position from which we had marched in the morning we reached