I sought the information in many quarters, that any orders whatever were given about the trains. It would seem that each quartermaster acted on his own responsibility and according to the best of his judgment, unenlightened by any knowledge of the roads, the position of the enemy, or the intended future movements of our own troops. Our own train did not get in range until late in the afternoon. It was fortunately hidden from the enemy by a clump of trees, and though some shells fell in close proximity, no damage was done. The teamsters, partly citizens (white) and partly soldiers, showed no timidity or disposition to abandon their teams. We parked that night about two miles beyond Malvern Hill, near Haxall's Landing, having been informed that line of defense would be held and this would be the depot of supplies. That night it was decided otherwise, and before morning nearly the whole army had passed us, going toward Harrison's Landing. We had received no notification of the fact.
At daylight Wednesday, the 2d, we fell in with the line of wagons, marching that day about four miles, the single road being blocked with troops, artillery, and army wagons, and now become almost impassable by reason of the heavy rain and the passage of the immense artillery trains. We passed that night in the road without unhitching the teams or unsaddling horses, expecting momentariut unable to do so, the roads being blocked in front. Thursday, July 3, found us still in the road not ten feet from where we were at dark the night before. A gloomy and unpromising prospect was before us. We were six miles from Harrison's Landing. The whole army had passed. Not a corporal's guard was left for rear defense. At least 1,500 wagons a single line), struggled for precedence and neutralized each other's efforts in the struggle. The mud was almost unfathomable. As the day advanced with scarcely a diminution in the almost interminable string of wagons, matters began to grow more critical. The gun-boats were shelling the woods in our rear. the enemy might be expected momentarily. There was nothing to prevent them, fit hey had chosen to come. Five hundred mounted resolute men might, in my opinion, have captured 1,000 prisoners and half the transportation of the army. Almost a panic ensued. Many wagons struck in the mud, which might have been extricated with a little effort, were abandoned, with their loads. Many one-horse ambulances were burned. An immense quantity of public stores and private baggage was thrown out of the wagons and plundered and destroyed by stragglers. Several companies of cavalry sent to hurry up the wagons, and to assist them, I suppose, employed accord, in breaking open and rifling trunks and other private baggage, undeterred by their officers, who either would not or could not control them, and were deaf to all entreaties for assistance. I saw wagons struck in the mud block the road for half an hour in front of a large squad of these men without their making the least effort to extricate them, the commanding officer of the regiment at the same time saying that he had orders to destroy every wagon that had not passed that point by a given time. I sent forward to the brigade for a detail of fifty men. They came promptly. But their aid I not only got my own train through without loss of any kind, but was able to render assistance to many others. As the enemy did not advance upon this road most of the wagons were saved, but it might have easily been otherwise. Thursday afternoon I reached the landing with my train and there parked. The following day, July 4, joined the troops, which were in camp about one mile distant.