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battalions who fought most bravely, and suffered most, are still in the best order. My regulars were superb; and I count upon what are left to turn another battle, in company with their gallant comrades of the volunteers. Had I twenty thousand (20,000,) or even ten thousand, (10,000,) fresh troops to use to-morrow, I could take Richmond; but I have not a man in reserve, and shall be glad to cover my retreat and save the material and personnel of the army. “If we have lost the day, we have yet preserved our honor, and no one need blush for the army of the Potomac. I have lost this battle because my force was too small. “I again repeat that I am not responsible for this, and I say it with the earnestness of a general who feels in his heart the loss of every brave man who has been needlessly sacrificed to-day. I still hope to retrieve our fortunes; but to do this the government must view the matter in the same earnest light that I do. You must send me very large re-enforcements, and send them at once. I shall draw back to this side of the Chickahominy, and think I can withdraw all our material. Please understand that in this battle we have lost nothing but men, and those the best we have. “In addition to what I have already said, I only wish to say to the President that I think he is wrong in regarding me as ungenerous when I said that my force was too weak. I merely intimated a truth which to-day has been too plainly proved. If, at this instant, I could dispose of ten thousand (10,000) fresh men, I could gain the victory to-morrow. “I know that a few thousand more men would have changed this battle from a defeat to a victory. As it is, the government must not and cannot hold me responsible for the result. “I feel too earnestly to-night. I have seen too many dead and wounded comrades to feel otherwise than that the government has not sustained this army. If you do not do so now, the game is lost. “If I save this army now, I tell you plainly that I owe no thanks to you, or to any other persons in Washington. “You have done your best to sacrifice this army. t “G. B. McCLELLAN. “Hon. E. M. STANTON.”
The headquarters camp at Savage's station was broken up early on the morning of the 29th, and moved across White Oak swamp. As the essential part of this day's operation was the passage of the trains across the swamp, and their protection against attack from the direction of New Market and Richmond, as well as the immediate and secure establishment of our communications with the gunboats, I passed the day in examining the ground, directing the posting of troops, and securing the uninterrupted movement of the trains. In the afternoon I instructed General Keyes to move during the night to James river, and occupy a defensive position near Malvern hill, to secure our extreme left flank. General F. J. Porter was ordered to follow him, and prolong the line towards the right, The trains were to be pushed on towards James river in rear of these corps, and placed under the protection of the gunboats as they arrived. A sharp skirmish with the enemy's cavalry early this day on the Quaker road showed that his efforts were about to be directed towards impeding our progress to the river, and rendered my presence in that quarter necessary.
BATTLE OF ALLEN'S FARM.
General Sumner vacated his works at Fair Oaks on June 29, at daylight, and marched his command to Orchard station, halting at Allen's field, between Orchard and Savage's station. The divisions of Richardson and Sedgwick were formed on the right of the railroad, facing towards Richmond, Richardson holding the right, and Sedgwick joining the right of Heintzelman's corps. The first line of Richardson's division was held by General French, General Caldwell supporting in the second. A log building in front of Richardson's division was held by Colonel Brooks with one regiment, (53d Pennsylvania volunteers,) with Hazzard's battery on an elevated piece of ground, a little in rear of Colonel Brooks’s command. At nine a.m. the enemy commenced a furious attack on the right of General Sedgwick, but were repulsed. The left of General Richardson was next attacked, the enemy attempting in vain to carry the position of Colonel Brooks. Captain Hazzard's battery, and Pettet's battery, which afterwards replaced it, were served with great effect, while the 53d Pennsylvania kept up a steady fire on the advancing enemy, compelling them at last to retire in disorder. The enemy renewed the attack three times, but were as often repulsed.
BATTLE OF SAVAGE’s STATION.
General Slocum arrived at Savage's station at an early hour on the 29th, and was ordered to cross White Oak swamp and relieve General Keyes's corps. As soon as General Keyes was thus relieved, he moved towards James river, which he reached in safety, with all his artillery and baggage, early on the morning of the 30th, and took up a position below Turkey creek bridge. During the morning General Franklin heard that the enemy, after having repaired the bridges, was crossing the Chickahominy in large force, and advancing towards Savage's station. He communicated this information to General Sumner, at Allen's farm, and moved Smith's division to Savage's station. A little after noon General Sumner united his forces with those of General Franklin, and assumed command. I had ordered General Heintzelman, with his corps, to hold the Williamsburg road until dark, at a point where were several field-works, and a skirt of timber between these works and the railroad; but he fell back before night, and crossed White Oak swamp at Brackett's ford. General Sumner in his report of the battle of Savage's station says:
“When the enemy appeared on the Williamsburg road I could not imagine why General Heintzelman did not attack him, and not till some time afterwards did I learn, to my utter amazement, that General Heintzelman had left the field, and retreated with his whole corps (about 15,000 men) before the action commenced. This defection might have been attended with the most disastrous consequences; and although we beat the enemy signally and drove him from the field, we should certainly have given him a more crushing blow if General Heintzelman had been there with his corps.”
General Heintzelman in his report of the operations of his corps says:
“On the night of the 28th of June I received orders to withdraw the troops of my corps from the advanced position they had taken on the 25th of June, and to occupy the intrenched lines about a mile in rear. A map was sent me, showing the positions General Sumner's and General Franklin's corps would occupy.
out sunrise the next day our troops slowly fell back to the new position, cautiously followed by the enemy, taking possession of our camps as soon as we left them.
“From some misapprehension General Sumner held a more advanced position than was indicated on the map furnished me, thus leaving a space of about three-fourths of a mile between the right of his corps and General Smith's divi“At 11 a.m. on the 29th the enemy commenced an attack on General Sumner's troops, a few shells falling within my lines. Late in the forenoon reports reached me that the rebels were in possession of Dr. Trent's house, only a mile and a half from Savage's station. I sent several cavalry reconnoissances, and finally was satisfied of the fact. General Franklin came to my headquarters, when I learned of the interval between his left and General Sumner's right, in which space Dr. Trent's house is; also that the rebels had repaired one of the bridges across the Chickahominy, and were advancing.
sion of General Franklin's corps. # # # # # # # #
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“I rode forward to see General Sumner, and met his troops falling back on the Williamsburg road through my lines. General Sumner informed me that he intended to make a stand at Savage's station, and for me to join him to determine upon the position.
“This movement of General Sumner's uncovering my right flank, it became necessary for me to at once withdraw my troops. * # # #
“I rode back to find General Sumner. After some delay, from the mass of troops in the field, I found him, and learned that the course of action had been determined on; so I returned to give the necessary orders for the destruction of the railroad cars, ammunition, and provisions still remaining on the ground. # # # # # # # * # #
“The whole open space near Savage's station was crowded with troops—more than I supposed could be brought into action judiciously. An aid from the commanding general had in the morning reported to me to point out a road across the White Oak swamp, starting from the left of General Kearney's position and leading by Brackett's ford. * #: to: # # #
“The advance of the column reached the Charles City road at 64 p.m., and the rear at 10 p.m., without accident.”
The orders given by me to Generals Sumner, Heintzelman, and Franklin were to hold the positions assigned them until dark. As stated by General Heintzelman, General Sumner did not occupy the designated position; but, as he was the senior officer present on that side of the White Oak swamp, he may have thought that the movements of the enemy justified a deviation from the letter of the orders. It appears from his report that he assumed command of all the troops near Savage's station, and determined to resist the enemy there; and that he gave General Heintzelman orders to hold the same position as I had assigned him. The aid sent by me to General Heintzelman to point out the road across the swamp was to guide him in retiring after dark. On reaching Savage's station, Sumner's and Franklin's commands were drawn up in line of battle in the large open field to the left of the railroad, the left resting on the edge of the woods, and the right extending down to the railroad. General Brooks, with his brigade, held the wood to the left of the field, where he did excellent service, receiving a wound, but retaining his command. General Hancock's brigade was thrown into the woods on the right and front. At 4 p.m. the enemy commenced his attack in large force by the Williamsburg road. It was gallantly met by General Burns's brigade, supported and re-enforced by two lines in reserve, and finally by the New York 69th, Hazzard's and Pettet's batteries again doing good service. Osborn's and Bramhall's batteries also took part effectively in this action, which was continued with great oney until between 8 and 9 p.m., when the enemy were driven from the eIOI. . Immediately after the battle the orders were repeated for all the troops to fall back and cross White Oak swamp, which was accomplished during the night in good order. By midnight all the troops were on the road to White
Oak swamp bridge, General French, with his brigade, acting as rear guard, and at 5 a.m. on the 30th all had crossed and the bridge was destroyed. On the afternoon of the 29th I gave to the corps commanders their instructions for the operations of the following day. As stated before, Porter's corps was to move forward to James river, and, with the corps of General Keyes, to occupy a position at or near Turkey Bend, on a line perpendicular to the river, thus covering the Charles City road to Richmond, opening communication with the gunboats, and covering the passage of the supply trains, which were pushed forward as rapidly as possible upon Haxall’s plantation. The remaining corps were pressed onward, and posted so as to guard the approaches from Richmond, as well as the crossings of the White Oak swamp, over which the army had passed. General Franklin was ordered to hold the passage of White Oak swamp bridge, and cover the withdrawal of the trains from that point. His command consisted of his own corps, with General Richardson's division and General Naglee's brigade placed under his orders for the occasion. General Slocum's division was on the right of the Charles City road. On the morning of the 30th I again gave to the eorps commanders within reach instructions for posting their troops. I found that, notwithstanding all the efforts of my personal staff and other officers, the roads were blocked by wagons, and there was great difficulty in keeping the trains in motion. The engineer officers whom I had sent forward on the 28th to reconnoitre the roads had neither returned nor sent me any reports or guides. Generals Keyes and Porter had been delayed—one by losing the road, and the other by repairing an old road—and had not been able to send any information. We then knew of but one road for the movement of the troops and our immense trains. It was therefore necessary to post the troops in advance of this road as well as our limited knowledge of the ground permitted, so as to cover the movement of the trains in the rear. I then examined the whole line from the swamp to the left, giving final instructions for the posting of the troops and the obstructions of the roads toward Richmond, and all corps commanders were directed to hold their positions until the trains had passed, after which a more concentrated position was to be taken up near James river. Our force was too small to occupy and hold the entire line from the White Oak swamp to the river, exposed, as it was, to be taken in reverse by a movement across the lower part of the swamp, or aeross the Chickahominy, below the swamp. Moreover, the troops were then greatly exhausted, and required rest in a more secure position. I extended my examinations of the country as far as Haxall’s, looking at all the approaches to Malvern, which position I perceived to be the key to our operations in this quarter, and was thus enabled to expedite very considerably the passage of the trains, and to rectify the positions of the troops. Everything being then quiet, I sent aids to the different corps commanders to inform them what I had done on the left, and to bring me information of the condition of affairs on the right. I returned from Malvern to Haxall's, and having made arrangements for instant communication from Malvern by signals, went on board of Captain Rodgers's gunboat, lying near, to confer with him in reference to the condition of our supply vessels, and the state of things on the river. It was his opinion that it would be necessary for the army to fall back to a position below City Point, as the channel there was so near the southern shore that it would not be possible to bring up the transports, should the enemy occupy it. Harrison's landing was, in his opinion, the nearest suitable point. Upon the termination of this interview I returned to Malvern hill, and remained there until shortly before daylight.
BATTLE OF “NELSON'S FARM,” OR “GLENDALE.”
On the morning of the 30th General Sumner was ordered to march with Sedgwick's division to Glendale (“Nelson's farm.”) General McCall's division (Pennsylvania reserves) was halted during the morning on the New Market road, just in advance of the point where the road turns off to Quaker church. This line was formed perpendicularly to the New Market road, with Meade's brigade on the right, Seymour's on the left, and Reynolds's brigade, commanded by Colonel S. G. Simmons, of the 5th Pennsylvania, in reserve; Randall’s regular battery on the right, Kern's and Cooper's batteries opposite the centre, and Dietrich's and Kanerhun's batteries of the artillery reserve on the left—all in front of the infantry line. The country in General McCall's front was an open field, intersected towards the right by the New Market road, and a small strip of timber parallel to it; the open front was about 800 yards, its depth about 1,000 yards.
On the morning of the 30th General Heintzelman ordered the bridge at Brackett's ford to be destroyed, and trees to be felled across that road and the Charles City road. General Slocum's division was to extend to the Charles City road. General Kearney's left to connect with General Slocum's left. General McCall's K. was to the left of the Long bridge road, in connexion with General
earney's left. General Hooker was on the left of General McCall. Between 12 and 1 o'clock the enemy opened a fierce cannonade upon the divisions of Smith and Richardson, and Naglee's brigade, at White Oak swamp bridge. This artillery fire was continued by the enemy through the day, and he crossed some infantry below our position. Richardson's division suffered severely. Captain Ayres directed our artillery with great effect. Captain Hazzard's battery, after losing many cannoneers, and Captain Hazzard being mortally wounded, was compelled to retire. It was replaced by Pettit's battery, which partially silenced the enemy's guns.
General Franklin held his position until after dark, repeatedly driving back the enemy in their attempts to cross the White Oak swamp.
At two o'clock in the day the enemy were reported advancing in force by the Charles City road, and at half past two o'clock the attack was made down the road on General Slocum's left, but was checked by his artillery. After this the enemy, in large force, comprising the divisions of Longstreet and A. P. Hill, attacked General McCall, whose division, after severe fighting, was compelled to retire.
General McCall, in his report of the battle, says:
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“About half past two my pickets were driven in by a strong advance, after some skirmishing, without loss on our part.
“At three o'clock the enemy sent forward a regiment on the left centre and another on the right centre to feel for a weak point. They were under cover of a shower of shells, and boldly advanced, but were both driven back—on the left by the 12th regiment, and on the right by the 7th regiment.
“For nearly two hours the battle raged hotly here.” ” * * “At last the enemy was compelled to retire before the well-directed musketry fire of the reserves. The German batteries were driven to the rear, but I rode up and sent them back. It was, however, of little avail, and they were soon after
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abandoned by the cannoneers.” # # # # “The batteries in front of the centre were boldly charged upon, but the enemy was speedily forced back.” ” * # # # + :*
“Soon after this a most determined charge was made on Randall's battery by . a full brigade, advancing in wedge shape, without order, but in perfect recklessness. Somewhat similar charges had, I have stated, been previously made on