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the Federal army, 100,000 strong, anchored off Fortress Monroe, and McClellan found that the fortifications extended entirely across the peninsula, from the York to the James river, and he at once concluded that one of two things was certain: here the Confederates could be cooped up on the peninsula, and be compelled to surrender, or they must evacuate the stronghold, and take refuge behind their batteries at Richmond. The forces were landed, and after an examination of the works, McClellan was confident that with his artillery—a thousand pieces—he should be able to level these works. He had seen the telling effects of artillery upon similar ones at Sebastopol during the Crimean war. General Robert E. Lee, of Virginia, the ablest leader of the Southern armies, knew the same, and at once recommended to the government the evacuation of the peninsula. Accordingly on the 3d of May the whole Confederate army, numbering 70,000 men, marched out on the road to Richmond, and left these works, as they had left those of Manassas, in possession of their enemies. A rapid pursuit was . at once begun, and, on the 4th, General Stoneman's command came up with the rear of the retreating army at Williamsburg, about fifty-eight 1 ailes from Richmond. Here the Confederates made a stand, and, with the pertinacity of veterans, disputed the Federal advance. It was the 5th of May, at seven o'clock in the morning, when the battle began, and it o until late in the evening, when Lee's forces were again compelled to continue their march toward their capital, leaving 700 dead on the field. The loss of the Federals was 1100. On the next day a bloody engagement occurred at West Point, on the York river, between the forces of General Franklin and a body of onfederates under General Magruder. After a spirited contest of three hours, victory again declared in favor of the Federals, their loss being 80 killed, 300 wounded, and 500 taken prisoners. The loss on the other side was about 900. McClellan continued his march toward Richmond; at the same time a feet of gunboats entered the Chesapeake Bay for the purpose of cooperating with the land forces in the attack upon the Confederate capital. On the 15th of May the fleet steamed up the James within eight miles of Richmond, where the guns of Fort Darling opened fire, and the Federals met their first reverse before Richmond. After a splendid artillery fight of five hours the gunboats were compelled to withdraw down the river to their former anchorage. This did not delay for a moment the progress of the land forces, and on the 20th of May, Mc. Clellan occupied a position within eight miles of Richmond. In the meantime General Banks had again marched into the Shenandoah Valley, where he was opposed by a force of about 25,000 men under Generals Early and Jackson. For weeks the possession of the “Garden of Virginia” was disputed by the contending armies; but on the 25th of May, Banks was attacked, defeated at Winchester, and forced
to abandon the valley. His retreating columns were closely pursued to Williamsport, where they crossed the Potomac and took refuge in Maryland.
TIDEWATER VIRGINIA MADE THE BATTLE-GROUND.
In all historical struggles of the past between nations, it is exhibited that the final contest has been limited to a few localities, in which the resources of the combatants were concentrated and the operations more colossal than any preceding them. This was exemplified in the late civil war, the crisis being reached in 1862, and the period was signalized by contests more sanguinary than had ever before been witnessed on the American continent. The first of these encounters between the opposing armies before Richmond was the
BATTLE QF SEVEN PINEs,
On the 31st of May, in which the Federal loss was 6,000 greater than the Confederate, with arms, stores, etc. A demonstration by McClellan on the next day which was repulsed by General Pickett, magnified in the Federal reports as the battle of Fair Oaks, was an action of no consequence. Our limits forbid a minute detail of the events of the momentous three years succeeding, and confine us to a general view of the war in Virginia. On the first of June the armies confronting each other on her soil aggregated quite 200,000 men. The struggle around the beleaguered capital of the Confederacy commenced with the
SEVEN DAYs' BATTLES
In the region of the Chickahominy, which were inaugurated on the 26th of June, by the
BATTLE OF MECHANICSVILLE.
General Johnston had been severely wounded at Seven Pines, and General R. E. Lee was now in chief command of the Confederate forces around Richmond. General McClellan had recently assumed the command of the army of the Potomac, then concentrated on the banks of the Chickahominy.
In order that the reader may better understand the movements now to be noticed he should study carefully the geography of the Tidewater district of Virginia. By an inspection of the map it will be seen that the Chickahominy river has its source in the north-western portion of Henrico county, whence it flows in a south-western direction—its course in the neighborhood of Richmond closely resenbling the arc of a circle— until it reaches the south-eastern portion of Charles City county, where it suddenly turns to the south and flows into the James, about seventyfive miles below Richmond. Mechanicsville is situated on the northeast bank of this river, distant five miles from Richmond, and marks the point of McClellan's nearest approach to that city. At the time of the engagement a portion of the Federal army had crossed the Chickahominy and held a fortified position on the Williamsburg road, but far the greater portion lay on the north side, the line extending many miles up and down the stream. It was at 3 P. M. #. June 26th, that Major-General Jackson— flushed with recent victories in the Shenandoah Valley—took up his line of march from Ashland and proceeded south-east through the country lying between the Chickahominy and Pamunkey rivers. BrigadierGeneral Branch, crossing the former, directed his march so as to form a junction with the corps of General A. P. Hill. Jackson kept well to the Pamunkey until he reached the village of Raleigh, when he turned suddenly to the west and attacked the fortified Federal position at Mechanicsville; at the same time General Hill with a force of fourteen thousand joined in the attack, and, after a short but desperate contest, night settled down upon the scene, both armies holding their position, but under cover of darkness the Federals withdrew and fell back down the river to Powhite swamp. Friday morning dawned clear and bright, and the sun arose to shed his rays upon such a scene as had not yet been witnessed on this continent. The way had been cleared at Mechanicsville, and General Longstreet's corps d’armée, composed of his veteran division of the Old Guard of the Army of the Potomac and General D. H. Hill's command, emerged from the forest on the south side of the Chickahominy and crossed . river. A general advance on the part of the Confederates now began: the command of General A. P. Hill in the centre marching in the direction of Cold Harbor; Generals Longstreet and D. H. #. the right, roceeding down the Chickahominy, and the veteran Jackson marching }. to the left, but converging toward the river. The position of the Federal army was now a peculiar one: that portion lying south of the river was confronted by the command of General Magruder, while that on the north side had fallen back to a new line of defenses, and here McClellan had decided to make a decisive battle. Jackson's arrival at Cold Harbor was announced by the roar of his guns, which was the signal of battle, and in compliance with that signal the forces of Generals Lee, Longstreet, A. P. Hill and D. H. Hill were simultaneously engaged. From four o'clock until eight, the battle raged with terrible fury, and a wonderful display of daring and intrepidity on the part of the Confederates. At last the Federals gave way, and night covered the retreat of their broken and shattered lines to the south bank of the Chickahominy. A memorable part of the day's fighting was that known as the
BATTLE OF GAINES MILLs,
And the repeated charges made here deserve to rank with the most glorious deeds of the war. The corps of General A. P. Hill had made the first charge upon the Federal intrenchments at this place, and a terrible struggle had continued o: the day, neither side seeming to have the advantage—the Federals holding their position, but powerless to keep at bay the Confederates, whose dauntless successive charges were ineffectual to carry the works. An eye-witness says that Hill's division made repeated charges, but were as often driven back by the murderous sheet of fire from the formidable works. Twenty-six pieces of artillery were belching forth their thunders, and a perfect leaden hail-storm fell thick and fast around them. In front stood earth-works stretching for miles away; and drawn upin line of battle were three full divisions, commanded by Generals McCall, Porter and Sedgwick. Banners everywhere filled the air; artillery vomited forth incessant volleys of grape, canister and shell, and the angel of death hovered over the field amid the sulphurous atmosphere of battle. But at last as the sun was descending behind the western hills Pickett's brigade, from Longstreet's division, came to Hill's support. Then came Whiting's division, consisting of the “Old Third” and the Texan brigades; they advanced at a double quick, charged the batteries, and drove the Federals from the intrenchments which they had defended with such obstinacy throughout the day. Belonging to the last mentioned brigade was the 4th Texas regiment commanded by a gallant Virginian, Colonel Bradfute Warwick; this was his last charge; just as the works were carried his breast was pierced by a minie-ball, id he fell to rise no more. Thus ended the second of the terrible Seven Days. Skirmishing was kept up during Saturday, and on Sunday the 29th was fought the
BATTLE OF SAVAGES STATION.
On the morning of this, the fourth day, a considerable body of the Federals were discovered occupying a strong natural position at the
lace named, on the York River folio. The division of General K. consisting of Kershaw's and Semmes' brigades, supported by General Griffith's brigade, from Magruder's division, made the attack at one o'clock, and were received by a furious cannonade from a park of field pieces. Kemper's battery was ordered to the front, and after, a splendid artillery i. which o shook the surrounding country, the