fallen back to the rifle-pits first constructed by General Casy, and now hold them. I have no idea of our loss. The rout of General Casey's men had a most dispiriting effect on the troops as they came up. I saw no reason why we should have been drive back.
S. P. KEINTZELMAN,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD CORPS,
Savage's, May 31, 1862-9.15 p. m.
I returned here half an hour since. I got information of the attack about 2 p. m. and sent re-enforcements at once, at the same time going to the front. I soon met the fugitives of General Casey's division, and learned that the most of them had given way. When I got forward I found the enemy had possession of our front lines. When the re-enforcements came up I put them into the woods on the left to turn the rebel right flank and capture their artillery. Another portion advanced in the center and a brigade was ordered up on the railroad. The firing soon became tolerably heavy and the center gave way, necessitating the left to fall back. Had the brigade I ordered up on the railroad advanced promptly, this disaster to our center might have been repaired, if not prevented. We have fallen back to some unfinished rifle-pits less than a mile in front of this position. How much artillery we have lost I am unable to tell, as it was lost before I got up. Our loss in killed and wounded is considerable. I have ordered up ammunition and intrenching tools. The stragglers of General Casey's division had a most dispiriting effect, and our troops did not fight well.
S. P. HEITZELMAN.
AT THE FRONT, May 31, 1862-6 p. m.
Our troops on the road have given way. Birney is advancing on the railroad. Our left still holds its own.
S. P. HEINTZELMAN,
HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF THE POTOMAC,
May 31, 1862-6.20 p. m.
General Casey's division is being rallied by Lieutenants McAlester, Hunt, and Johnson, of the general's staff. General Casey is reported dead. Lieutenant McAlester reports that General Kearny is at the Seven Pines, driving the enemy back slowly. General Sumner's column is just arriving on the ground. General Hooker's about half a mile in rear of these headquarters.
Chief of Staff.