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ening Washington, and his plan was per- country. “Throughout all the night," fectly successful. McDowell's arrange- says General Keyes, in his report, ments for an advance to Richmond, for “there was raging a storm, the like of which he was anxious, were immediately which I cannot remember. Torrents of suspended, and a great part of his troops rain drenched the earth. The thunder moved towards the valley of Virginia to bolts rolled and fell without intermission, Front Royal, to coöperate with Fremont and the heavens flashed with a perpetual in the movement described in a previous blaze of lightning. From their beds of chapter, to intercept Jackson, which, mud, and the peltings of this storm, the through the customary exertions of the 4th corps rose to fight the battle of the rebel general, was converted into an un- 31st of May." successful pursuit.

| With this additional embarrassment to To return to the army before Rich- the Union movements, the roads conmond. Hardly had General Porter and verted into mud, the swamps flooded, the brave troops of his corps returned and the river threatened with an unusual from Hanover Court House, where, rise, it appeared a simple piece of stratduring their brief stay, General McClel- egy to destroy the exposed wing of the lan had ridden to congratulate them on divided army. Accordingly, orders were their achievements, when the right bank given by General Johnston to his several of the Chickahominy became the scene division commanders, and preparations of one of the most determined struggles were made to move to the assault at of the war. The action known as the daybreak of the 31st of May. General battle of Seven Pines or Fair Oaks, from Hill, supported by the division of Genthe localities at two important stages of eral Longstreet, was to advance by the the conflict, its commencement and its Williamsburg road to attack in front, close, was fought between the rebel army General Huger was to move down the under General Johnston, embracing the lower Charles City road, to attack in divisions of Generals D. H. Hill, Long- flank, while General Smith was to march street, Huger, and Smith, and the corps to the junction of the New Bridge road of Keyes and Heintzelman, with a por- and the Nine Mile road above, to be in tion of that of General Sumner. It was readiness either to fall on Keyes' right thus brought about. General Johnston flank or to cover Longstreet's left. With perceiving the advance of General the facility of the communications from Casey's division, which we have de- Richmond, and the roads thus commandscribed, at and beyond Seven Pines, and ing the Union position, had this plan of apparently supposing the corps of Gen- attack been effectively carried out, backeral Keyes, to which it belonged, the ed, as it was, by a greatly superior force, only one which had yet crossed the it could hardly have failed of entire sucChickahominy, thought, by massing his cess. The heavy rains, however, which forces in one furious onset, to break their aided the effort in one way, hindered it lines, and destroy this section of the in another. If reinforcements could not Union army before a junction was made, be readily brought across the river to by the completion of the bridges, with the Union lines, neither could the enemy the troops on the other side of the stream. take the field as early as was intended. The plan seemed to possess additional The divisions of Smith, Hill, and Long: feasibility when, at the very time it was street, however, were in position to conbeing determined upon, on the afternoon mence operations by eight a. M. Genof the 30th of May, and following night, eral Huger, entangled with his artillery the region was visited by one of the most in the mud and swamps, was not at hand, furious summer rain storms known to the land General Longstreet, who had the

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direction of operations on the right, was the attack in force, crowding on all sides unwilling to go into action without his upon Gen. Casey's division of little more coöperation, so the attack was deferred than 4,000, with a force estimated by him till early in the afternoon.

at 35,000. The regiment sent to the supOn the other side, meanwhile, General port of the pickets was driven in with Keyes had been no idle observer of considerable loss, and came down the events. Cautiously watching the enemy road in some confusion. “The enemy,” before and around him, he was anxiously says General Casey, "now attacked me looking to his defences, and the line of in large force on the centre and both communication with the right wing of the wings, and a brisk fire of musketry exUnion army, by the bridges across the tended along the two opposing lines ; Chickahominy. Expecting an attack, he my artillery, in the meantime, throwing listened eagerly to the first reports of in- canister into their ranks with great effect. dications of a hostile movement, which Perceiving, at length, that the enemy were brought him on the morning of the were threatening me upon both wings, 31st. It was reported from the front for want of reinforcements, which had that cars had been heard during the been repeatedly asked for, and that his night coming out from Richmond, and column still pressed on, I then, in order about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, to save my artillery, ordered a charge of Lieutenant Washington, an aid of Gen- bayonets by the four supporting regiments eral Johnston, evidently reconnoitering of the centre, which was executed in a the ground, was taken prisoner by the most gallant and successful manner, unadvanced Union pickets. About the der the immediate direction of Brigadier same time two shells were thrown into General Naglee, commanding 1st brigade, the Union camp, and a considerable body the enemy being driven back. When of the enemy was reported approaching. the charge had ceased, but not until the General Casey immediately ordered his troops had reached the edge of the woods, division under arms, called in his men at the most terrible fire of musketry comwork on the abattis and rifle pits; the menced that I have ever witnessed. The artillery was harnessed up, and every enemy again advanced in force, and the preparation made for action. The 103d flanks having been again severely threatPennsylvania regiment was advanced to ened, a retreat to the works became nesupport the pickets. Spratt's battery cessary. To be brief, the rifle pits were was placed in front with powerful infan- retained until they were almost enveloped try supports, the 104th Pennsylvania, by the enemy-the troops, with some lith Maine, the 92d and 100th New exceptions, fighting with spirit and galYork regiments. This was the first or lantry. The troops then retreated to outer line of defence. A second was the second line, in possession of General formed about a third of a mile in the Couch's division. Two pieces of artillery rear, at the redoubt and earthworks were placed in the road between the two which were in process of construction by lines, which did good execution upon the the division to hold their advanced posi- advancing foe. On my arrival at the tion. Captain Bates' battery, command second line, I succeeded in rallying a ed by Lieutenant Hart, was placed in the portion of my division, and, with the asredoubt, Regan's battery on the right, sistance of General Kearney, who had and Fitch's battery in the rear. The line just arrived at the head of one of the was held by Pennsylvania and New brigades of his division, attempted to reYork regiments. When these disposi- gain possession of my works, but it was tions were completed, about twenty min- found impracticable. The troops of Genutes to one o'clock, the enemy commenced eral Couch's division were driven back. Williamshushe regiment

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although reinforced by the corps of Gen- mand of Lieutenant-Colonel Thourot, to eral Heintzelman. The corps of Generals save the guns,' meaning some of Keyes and Heintzelman, having retreat-Casey's. The regiment moved up the ed to the third line, by direction of Williamsburg road at double-quick, conGeneral Heintzelman, I then collected ducted by General Naglee, where it beat together what remained of my division.”' off the enemy on the point of seizing some

The report of General Keyes, corrob-guns, and held its position more than an orates this account of the services of hour. At the end of that time, its amGeneral Casey's division. “There was munition being exhausted, it fell back no surprise,” he says, “all was prepared through the abattis, and after receiving for action. Had it been otherwise, the more cartridges, the regiment again did Confederates, pouring from the shelter good service.. It lost, in the battle, of the woods in overpowering numbers, nearly one-fourth its numbers, killed and would have swept through our lines wounded. At a little past two o'clock I and routed us completely. As it was, ordered Neill's 23d and Rippey's 61st however, Casey's division held its line Pennsylvania regiments to move to the of battle for more than three hours, and support of Casey's right. Neill attacked the execution done upon the enemy was the enemy twice with great gallantry. shown by the number of rebel dead left in the first attack the enemy were driven upon the field after the enemy had held back. In the second attack, and under possession of that part of it for upwards the immediate command of General of twenty-four hours. During that time it Couch, these two regiments assailed a is understood, all the means of transport vastly superior force of the enemy, and available in Richmond were employed fought with extraordinary bravery; to carry away their dead and wound-though compelled at last to retire, they ed. The enemy advancing, as they fre- brought in thirty-five prisoners. Both quently did, in masses, received the shot regiments were badly cut up. Colonel and shell of our artillery, like veterans, Rippey, of the 61st, and his adjutant, closing up the gaps, and moving steadily were killed; the lieutenant-colonel and on to the assault."

major were wounded, and are missing. The division of General Casey lost. The casualties in the 61st amount to 263, 1,433 killed, wounded and missing ; about and are heavier than in any other regia third of its entire force.. .

ment in Couch's division. After this We now take up the report of General attack, the 23d took part in the bard Keyes, of the second general line of de- fighting which closed the day near the fence, composed principally of Couch's Seven Pines. The 61st withdrew in dedivision, the operations of which received tachments, some of which came again inhis uninterrupted supervision. “As the to action near my headquarters. Almost pressure," says he, "on Casey's position immediately after ordering the 23d and became greater, he applied to me for re- 61st to support the right, and as soon as inforcements. I continued to send them they could be reached, I sent the 7th as long as I had troops to spare. Colonel Massachusetts, Colonel Russell, and the McCarter, with the 93d Pennsylvania, 620 New York, Colonel Riker, to reinPeck's brigade, engaged the enemy on force them. The overpowering advance the left, and maintained his ground above of the enemy obliged these regiments to two hours, until overwhelming numbers proceed to Fair Oaks, where they fought forced him to retire, which he did in good under the immediate orders of Generals order. At about two o'clock, P. M., I Couch and Abercrombie. There they ordered the 55th New York (Colonel joined the 1st United States Chasseurs, De Trobriand, absent, sick), now in com- | Colonel Cochrane, previously ordered to

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although reinforced by the corps of Gen- mand of Lieutenant-Colonel Thourot, to eral Heintzelman. The corps of Generals save the guns,' meaning some of Keyes and Heintzelman, having retreat- Casey's. The regiment moved up the ed to the third line, by direction of Williamsburg road at double-quick, conGeneral Heintzelman, I then collected ducted by General Naglee, where it beat together what remained of my division.”' off the enemy on the point of seizing some

The report of General Keyes, corrob- guns, and held its position more than an orates this account of the services of hour. At the end of that time, its amGeneral Casey's division. “There was munition being exhausted, it fell back no surprise," he says, “all was prepared through the abattis, and after receiving for action. Had it been otherwise, the more cartridges, the regiment again did Confederates, pouring from the shelter good service. It lost, in the battle, of the woods in overpowering numbers, nearly one-fourth its numbers, killed and would have swept through our lines wounded. At a little past two o'clock I and routed us completely. As it was, ordered Neill's 23d and Rippey's 61st however, Casey's division held its line Pennsylvania regiments to move to the of battle for more than three hours, and support of Casey's right. Neill attacked the execution done upon the enemy was the enemy twice with great gallantry. shown by the number of rebel dead lest In the first attack the enemy were driven upon the field after the enemy had held back. In the second attack, and under possession of that part of it for upwards the immediate command of General of twenty-four hours. During that time it Couch, these two regiments assailed a is understood, all the means of transport vastly superior force of the enemy, and available in Richmond were employed fought with extraordinary bravery ; to carry away their dead and wound-though compelled at last to retire, they ed. The enemy advancing, as they fre- brought in thirty-five prisoners. Both quently did, in masses, received the shot regiments were badly cut up. Colonel and shell of our artillery like veterans, Rippey, of the 61st, and his adjutant, closing up the gaps, and moving steadily were killed ; the lieutenant-colonel and on to the assault.”

major were wounded, and are missing: The division of General Casey lost The casualties in the 61st amount to 263, 1,433 killed, wounded and missing ; about and are heavier than in any other regia third of its entire force..

ment in Couch's division. After this We now take up the report of General attack, the 23d took part in the hard Keyes, of the second general line of de- fighting which closed the day near the fence, composed principally of Couch's Seven Pines. The 61st withdrew in dedivision, the operations of which received tachments, some of which came again inhis uninterrupted supervision. “As the to action near my headquarters. Almost pressure,” says he, "on Casey's position immediately after ordering the 23d and became greater, he applied to me for re- 61st to support the right, and as soon as inforcements. I continued to send them they could be reached, I sent the 7th as long as I had troops to spare. Colonel Massachusetts, Colonel Russell, and the McCarter, with the 93d Pennsylvania, 620 New York, Colonel Riker, to reinPeck's brigade, engaged the enemy on force them. The overpowering advance the left, and maintained his ground above of the enemy obliged these regiments to two hours, until overwhelming numbers proceed to Fair Oaks, where they fought forced him to retire, which he did in good under the immediate orders of Generals order. At about two o'clock, P. M., I Couch and Abercrombie. There they ordered the 55th New York (Colonel joined the 1st United States Chasseurs, De Trobriand, absent, sick), now in com- | Colonel Cochrane, previously ordered to

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