War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0811 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN-DAYS' BATTLES.

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from the swamp into an open field (meadow), commanded by a line of high hills, all in cultivation and free from timber. Upon this range of hills the enemy had posted heavy batteries of field artillery, strongly supported by infantry, which swept across the meadow by a direct and cross-fire, and which could be used with terrible effect upon my column while struggling through the fallen timber in the wood through the swamp. Two prisoners,whom we captured here on picket, confirmed by their statements my own observation of the enemy's force and position, and having no artillery with me to support my infantry while crossing, I determined to withdraw from this point and seek a crossing, higher up the swamp. Skirting along the northern margin of the swamp about 3 miles I discovered a cow trail, which led across not far from and in rear of Fisher's house, on the Charles City road. This trail I took, and at dark halted my brigade for the night on the Charles City road near to Fisher's house.

Having reported to General Huger in person, I received orders from him that night instructing me to move early in the morning down the Charles City road, supporting General Armistead's brigade, which would move down in advance of me.

This order was countermanded early next (Tuesday) morning, July 1, and I was instructed to follow* General Armistead's brigade, which was directed to move across from the Charles City road in the direction of James River, skirting along the west side of the Quaker road and closely watching the right of that road. After marching about 2 1/2 or 3 miles I halted my brigade, having found General Armistead's brigade halted upon the intersection of the road we were moving along with the Long Bridge road. Here I remained nearly an hour waiting for the command in front of me to move forward.

Between 8 and 9 a.m. I again moved forward, and following General Armistead's brigade, I crossed the Long Bridge road, near to the battle-field of the day before, Monday, June 30, and passed on over a blind road in the direction of Malvern Hill.

After moving about 1 1/2 miles I was again halted by finding that General Armistead's brigade had stopped on a skirt of woods about 1 mile in front of Dr. Metter's (now Crew's) house. Moving along General Armistead's line, I proceeded to and found the general in a deep ravine about 100 yards from and running parallel to Crew's field fence. Here I ascertained that the enemy in very large force was occupying the crest of the hills in Crew's farm immediately in front of his farm-yard, and had pickets and sharpshooters advanced near the edge of the woods in which we then lay. No definite idea could be obtained from our scouts of the number or position of the enemy, and I suggested to General Armistead that we go forward to the edge of the field and, under protection of a strong force of skirmishers, ascend a high knoll or hill which abruptly sprang from the meadow below and on our right, from the summit of which we would be able to observe the enemy's movements.

Having reached this position, we were enabled to get a very complete view of McClellan's army. Immediately in our front and extending 1 mile stretched a field,at the farther extremity of which was situated the dwelling and farm buildings of Mr. Crew (formerly Dr. Mettert): In front and to our left the land rose gently from the edge of the woods


*The report of Brigadier General A. R. Wright, commanding Third Brigade, Huger's division, of the battle of Malvern Hill, July 1, 1862, dated July 14, 1862, and addressed to Major General J. Bankhead Magruder, is the same as the remainder of this report.