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JACKSON'S OPINION OF HUGER AND MAGRUDER. 149
who had remained with his sick and wounded, Stonewall remarked, that “ Huger ought to be courtmartialled for permitting Smith to escape, and Magruder shot for his drunkenness and mismanagement at Malvern.” They were both subsequently shelved. Jackson added, further, that Gen. McClellan had out-generaled them, escaping with his army when it was just within their grasp.
After debouching from the main thoroughfare a halt was ordered, and the men, sinking down by the roadside, were soon fast asleep. But they were immediately roused from their slumbers, and springing to their feet, prepared to resist the enemy's cavalry, who were reported to be advancing on a charge. The alarm, however, proved to be groundless, having been occasioned by some horses, which had got away from their sleepy riders, dashing through the ranks. When the panic created by this circumstance had subsided, the Division again moved forward rapidly, many of the soldiers being so exhausted as to fall asleep, and mechanically move along, until a halt in the line would throw them headlong against their comrades in front. The memories of that fearful night march can never be effaced from the brain of those who participated in it. An hour after daylight the head of the column reached Malvern, when the boys, mistaking some dead pines ahead for ship masts, gave vent to the wildest demonstrations of joy, supposing that the river had been reached. It was, however, but a short way off. Moving on a
· BATTLE OF MALVERN HILLS.
little distance further, the troops were massed by Regiments in a large clearing, and permitted an hour's sleep. At the expiration of that time the Thirtythird was ordered on picket in the woods at the right of Malvern Hills, where a portion of the army was drawn up to receive an attack. Major Platner, still in command of the Regiment, deployed all the Companies as skirmishers, every other man being permitted to sleep.
Directly in the rear, the Vermont Brigade were employed in slashing timber, and constructing a formidable abatis, behind which a line of battle was formed, No openings were left, or other provisions made for the escape of the Thirty-third, should the enemy appear, but they were told to fire off their guns, and make their way back through the slashing as best they could. The night was intensely dark, and the men, unable to see or converse with each other, had a decidedly dreary time of it. About three o'clock in the morning (Wednesday) an Aid appeared and ordered them in. Owing to the darkness and obstacles some did not get back for several hours.
The fierce battle of Malvern Hills was, in the meantime, being fought. The line of battle was formed about eight o'clock in the morning (Tuesday), General Franklin having the right, Generals Keyes and Heintzelman the centre, and General Porter the left. General Sumner's Corps was held as a reserve. Our batteries were planted on the hills in commanding positions. About nine
THE ENEMY THOROUGHLY BEATEN. 151 o'clock the pursuing enemy made their appearance and immediately opened a heavy artillery fire, which was replied to by our guns, the gunboats Galena and Jacob Bell assisting. The artillery duel was kept up until three o'clock in the afternoon, when the enemy charged in solid column upon our batteries, but were repulsed with terrible slaughter. · Again and again they renewed the charge, but were as often beaten back. Despairing of dislodging us with shot and shell, or of storming our guns, they now advanced their infantry, who opened a musketry fire, and the engagement became general along the whole line. For three long hours the battle raged fiercely, neither side gaining any material advantage. But at the end of this time reinforcements arrived to the number of four Brigades, and decided the fortunes of the day. The enemy were everywhere beaten back and put to flight, many of them not stopping until they reached their defences. Some were at the time, and have since been, of the opinion that our victorious forces could have followed them into their capital. But when we consider the distance intervening, the condition of our own troops, and that this was only one wing of the rebel army that had met with defeat, it is scarcely reasonable to conclude that the success could have been followed up by the capture of Richmond. This terminated the series of engagements connected with the retreat. Like Massena fleeing before Wellington, General McClellan had again and again turned upon Lee, and as often checked him in the pursuit.
After being ordered in from the picket line, the Thirty-third was permitted a few hours' rest, and then sent to the front to support Ayers' battery. The men had hardly taken their position behind the guns, before they were ordered to move on, which they did in a furious storm. Reaching a large wheat field, a portion of the army was found drawn up, in a hollow square, with the trains in the centre, expecting an attack. The troops were marched and countermarched, and arranged to meet the enemy, but they did not make their appearance. The Regiment here joined the others of the Brigade under Colonel Taylor, and proceeded on towards Harrison's Landing. The water was in many places from six to eight inches deep, the streams very much swollen, and various other circumstances conspired to make the marching slow and tedious. The Thirty-third, however, reached the landing about two o'clock in the afternoon, which was on the old Harrison estate, and reminded the men very much of White House Land
· The river was full of gunboats and transports of every description. Many of the boys were so famished that they did not wait for the commissary, but swam out to the boats, and, clambering up the sides, procured something to eat. Others were so exhausted that, without delaying for food or shelter, they sank down in the mud, and were soon fast asleep. Notwithstanding the excessive heat and innumerable number of bugs and flies of every description, they found no difficulty in wooing Morpheus after the severe and terrible exposures and hardships of the