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FIGHT NEAR MECHANICSVILLE.

153 son's corps, summoned from the Val- | McClellan, and had never till now ley, to not far from 70,000 men. In been in action, were strongly posted order to mask this concentration, on advantageous ground, supported Whiting's division, consisting of by Morell's division and Sykes's Hood's Texas brigade and his own, regulars, the whole forming Fitz-John had been sent off from Richmond to Porter's corps of about 27,000 men. Jackson; to whom also the brigade of Lawton had been ordered up from the South. When all things were ripe, Jackson moved, by order, rapidly and secretly from the Valley to Ashland, facing our extreme right, whence he was directed to advance" so as to flank our right, holding Me

IN GRIFFIN chanicsville. Moving on at 3 next morning," he was directed to connect |

MECHANICSVILLE with Gen. Branch, immediately south of the Chickahominy, who was to cross that stream and advance on Mechanicsville; while Gen. A. P. Hill, lower down, was to cross near Meadow Bridge so soon as Branch’s movement was discovered, and move directly upon Mechanicsville, where on the Rebel batteries on the southern bluffs of the Chickahominy were to open ; Longstreet's division following

MILES_ 2 in support of Hill, while D.H. Hill's in like manner supported Jackson; thus only Huger's and Magruder's divisions Advancing rapidly and resolutely, were left in front of our left and cen- in the face of a destructive fire, which ter, immediately before Richmond. they could not effectively return, the

Jackson was unable to reach Ash- leading brigades of A. P. Hill's, and land quite so soon as had been anti- ultimately of D. H. Hill's and Longcipated ; so that A. P. Hill did not street's divisions, attacked our posicross the stream to attack us till 3tion and attempted to turn our left, P, M." His advance had been dis- but were repulsed with fearful carcovered three hours before; so that nage. Jackson being vainly expectour pickets were called in before it, ed to arrive and assail our right, it and the regiment and battery hold was not turned; and night fell on a ing Mechanicsville fell back, fighting, decided and animating success of our on a strong position across Beaver mainly green soldiers, though the Dam creek. Here Gen. McCall's fighting did not cease till after dark, Pennsylvania Reserves, which had and the Rebels remained in force not recently been sent down to rëenforce far from our front. Our total loss in 9 June 25.

*3 June 26.

24 June 26.

BEAVER DAM Z

RIV

IVER

MECHANICS VILLE

this affair had been less than 400; / must have done under the correct while that of the Rebels must have impression that they were about to been many times larger; and when, be overwhelmingly assailed in front near the close of the battle, fresh by the Hills and Longstreet, and in troops came up to relieve the exult- flank by the yet fresh division of ing Reserves, they refused to give Jackson. In other words, it was place, but, replenishing their ammu- now plain that the Rebel chiefs had nition, lay down on their arms to resolved to precipitate the bulk of await the encounter of the morrow. their force on our right wing, crush

Before daylight,however, an or- ing it back on our center by the sheer der from Gen. McClellan (who had momentum of their columns. learned, meantime, that Jackson was This striking a great army on one approaching) directed the evacuation end, and rolling it up on itself in inexof their strong position, and a retreat tricable confusion, carnage, and rout, to GAINES’s Mill—an order easy of is no novelty in warfare. The Allied execution had it arrived three or four Emperors tried, it on Napoleon at hours earlier, but very difficult now, Austerlitz; our strategists attempted as the Rebel attack was renewed a it on the Rebels at first Bull Run. few minutes afterward. The Rebels It is a critical maneuver; but likely were repulsed, however, though our to succeed, provided your antagonist men were retiring at the time ; passively awaits its consummation. Meade's, Griffin's, Reynolds's, and (“Hunting the tiger, gentlemen,” Morell's commands moving steadily explained the returned East Indian off the field as if on parade; our dead to his associates at the United Service all buried, our wounded and arms Club, “is capital sport-capitalbrought away, with the loss of no unless the tiger turns to hunt you ; caisson, hardly of a musket, by a lit- when it becomes rather too exciting.") tle after 7 A. M.; leaving the Rebels Gen. McClellan, as usual, believed unaware for the moment that there the Rebels were assailing or threatenwas no longer an enemy before them. ing him with twice as many men as Before noon, each regiment and bat- they had, supposing them to have tery had taken up the new position 175,000 to 200,000 troops in his front; assigned it, at Gaines's Mill, and when they never, from the beginning was ready to receive the now eagerly to the end of the war, had so many advancing Rebels. Meantime, our as 100,000 effectives concentrated in trains and siege-guns had, by order, a single army, or within a day's been sent off across the Chickahomi- march. Even had he been outnum. ny during the night.

bered, as he supposed, by a Rebel Gen. McClellan had been“ with force on either flank nearly or quite Fitz-John Porter, behind the Me- equal to his whole army, he should chanicsville defenses, at 10 P. M.--an have quietly and rapidly concenhour after the triumphant and san- trated, and struck one of those assailguinary repulse of their assailants. ants before it could be supported by Four hours later, he sent orders for the other. Had he chosen thus to their prompt evacuation. This he rush upon Richmond, on the morning 25 June 27.

* June 26.

BATTLE OF GAINES'S MILL.

155

of the 26th, directing Porter to make had been ordered to make a feint on as imposing a demonstration and de- our left, had perceived the necessity tain the enemy as long as he could, of converting that feint into a deterthen to withdraw across the Chicka-mined attack; but, before his dispo hominy with the least possible loss, sitions had been completed, Jackson burn the bridges, and defend the pas- arrived and formed his division on sage till night-fall, he might have Longstreet's left; while D. H. Hill, gone right over the 25,000 Rebels on the extreme Rebel left, had forced between him and Richmond, taken his way through a swamp and some that city, and then turned in over- abatis, driving out our skirmishers; whelming force on the 50,000 Rebels and now Ewell came into action on in his rear, pressing Porter. But, Jackson's right, and two of Jackson's deceived and faint-hearted, he stood brigades were sent to the relief of A. perplexed and hesitating between P. Hill, who was being worsted. the real and overwhelming attack Lee's whole force being thus brought on his right and the imposing but into action, a general advance from hollow succession of feints and alarms left to right was ordered and made, on his left, letting two-thirds of Lee's under a terrific fire of cannon and entire force crush one-third of his musketry from both sides. own, while 60,000 good men and Porter had a strong position, on true stood idle between the Chicka- ground rising gradually from the hominy and Richmond, watching ravine of an inconsiderable stream, and guarding against 25,000 Rebels. screened in part by trees and underOnly Slocum's division of Sumner's brush, with Morell's and Sykes's corps was seasonably sent to the aid divisions in front, and McCall's of Porter, raising his total force to forming a second line behind them; barely 35,000 men, who were to and his cavalry, under P. St. George resist the desperate efforts of 50,000 Cooke, in the valley of the ChickaRebels, directed by Lee, and led on hominy, watching for a Rebel adto assault our position by Longstreet, vance in that quarter. The siegethe Hills, Stonewall Jackson, and guns of Porter's corps, which had Ewell.

been withdrawn across the ChickaThough the Rebels had quickly hominy during the night, were discerned and sharply pursued our planted in battery on the right bank withdrawal from the Mechanicsville of that stream, so as to check the addefenses, arriving in front of our new vance of the Rebel right, and prevent position soon after noon,” it was their turning our left. Porter was 2 P. M. before A. P. Hill, who unaccountably in want of axes, wherehad been awaiting Jackson's arrival, with to cover his front and right with advanced and opened the battle. abatis; his request for them to Gen. The Rebels were received with heroic | Barnard not reaching McClellan till bravery by Sykes's regulars, who too late. When he next called, they confronted them, by whose fire they were furnished, but without helves ; were staggered and temporarily re- and, while these were being supplied, pulsed. Meantime, Longstreet, who the opportunity for using axes was

77 June 27.

lost. His first call on McClellan for pressed front. So urgent and instant rëenforcements likewise miscarried. was the pressure, that Slocum’s diviHis next was made at 2 P. M.; when sion had to be divided and sent by Slocum's division, of the 6tli corps, brigades, and even regiments, to the was ordered to his support, arriving points where the need of aid seemed on the field at 3:30, after our position greatest; Bartlett's brigade going to had been assailed in force at every the help of Sykes on our right, while point, and after McCall's division had a portion of Newton's was sent in been ordered up to support our sorely between Morell and Sykes.

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(A Butterfield's Brigade. Morell's Div.B Martindale's

C Griflin's

(DG. S. Warren's Sykes's Div. EH. Chapman's

(FI. T. Buchanan's

K Mende's
McCall's Div. L Seymour's

(M Reynolds's

N Cavalry.

10 Robertson's Battery. Art. Reserve.

e P Tidball's Bartlett's brigade of Slocum's division. Franklin's corps in reserve; Taylor's and Newton's brigades being distributed on weak points of the line.

First lige was held as shown, from noon to 3 P. V., when the Reserves were moved up to sustain it. Gen. Slocum's division arrived about 87 P. M. The whole line retired 10 the bigh ground in the rear about 7 P. M.

Gen. Reynolds, with one brigade for hours; repeated charges on our of McCall's Pennsylvania Reserves, lines being repulsed; but fresh brighaving reached the front and repelled ades advancing promptly to replace the enemy immediately before him, those which had been hurled back, hearing the noise of a terrific contest until our wasted regiments, having on his left, moved immediately to the exhausted their ammunition, were point where his assistance seemed ne- obliged to retire and replenish it. cessary. And thus the battle raged At 5 P. M., Porter, though he had

PORTER DEFEATED AT GAINES'S MILL.

157 lost little ground, telegraphed again to the front. Rallying behind these to McClellan that his position was two fresh brigades, our wearied, critical, when French's and Meagher's decimated regiments advanced up brigades of the 21 corps were ordered the hill down which they had recently to cross to his support. They moved been driven, ready to meet a fresh promptly and rapidly; but, before attack, had one been attempted. But they could reach the field, the the enemy, perceiving that they Rebels, rallying all their forces, just were confronted by fresh combatants, at sunset, for a last desperate effort, and not knowing our force, halted for had stormed our intrenchments both the night on the field they had so on the left and on the right, and hardly won. driven back their defenders with During that night, our forces were mutual carnage, capturing several of by order withdrawn, unmolested, our guns.

across the Chickahominy, losing three Porter, seeing his infantry beaten, guns, that were run off a bridge into now called into action all his reserved | the stream, in addition to 19 that and remaining artillery, and thus they had left on the battle-field. bringing at once about so guns into Our loss in this action, though not action, was covering the retreat of specifically reported, probably exhis infantry and dealing fearful retri- ceeded 6,000 killed and wounded : bution on their assailants, whose ad- among the former were Cols. Samuel vance was suddenly checked; when W. Black, 62d Pa., McLean, of the Gen. Cooke, without orders, under- 83d, Gove, of the 22d Mass., Maj. N. took to charge, with a battalion of B. Rossell, 3d regular infantry, and caralry, the right flank of the Rebels many other brave and valuable offiadvancing on our left, and still cers. The 11th Pennsylvania Recovered in good part by woods. This serves, Col. Gallagher, and 4th N. J., charge being met by a withering fire Col. Simpson, while enveloped in of musketry, amidst the roar of a the smoke of battle, having too long hundred belching cannon, resulted in maintained their position in the farinstant rout: the frightened horses, thest front, found themselves at last whether with or without the consent completely enveloped by overwhelmof their riders, wheeling abruptly ing forces of the enemy, and comand crashing through our batteries ; pelled to surrender; and Gen. John leading our gunners to suppose, for F. Reynolds, of the 1st brigade of the moment, that they were charged Reserves, with his Adjutant, Capt. by regiments of Rebel horse. “To Charles Kingsbury, were taken pristhis alone,” says Fitz-John Porter, oners just at dark, riding into a in his report, “is to be attributed Rebel regiment, which they supposed our failure to hold the field, and to to be one of their own. Altogether, bring off all our guns and wounded.” | our losses in this desperate action

In another moment, the cheering were hardly less than 8,000 men; shouts of French's and Morell's men those of the Rebels being probably were heard, as they advanced rapidly about two-thirds as many."

* Gen. Jackson officially reports the losses of his corps in this battle at 589 killed, 2,671

wounded, and 24 missing: total, 3,284. The other division and corps commanders make no

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