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enty minutes. General Holmes marched down the Williamsburg road and rested in wait for General Lee. Like General Huger, he held rank over me. General Lee ordered the troops back to their former lines. Those on the Williamsburg road were drawn back during the night, the rear-guard, Pickett's brigade, passing the Casey works at sunrise on the 2d unmolested. Part of Richardson's division mistook the camp at Fair Oaks for the Casey camp, and claimed to have recovered it on the afternoon of the 1st, but it was not until the morning of the 2d that the Casey camp was abandoned. The Confederate losses in the two days fight were 6134; the Union losses, 5031. It seems from Union accounts that all of our dead were not found and buried on the afternoon of the 1st. It is possible, as our battle was in the heavy forest and swamp tangles. General Smith has written a great deal about the battle of Seven Pines during the past twenty or thirty years, in efforts to show that the failure
withdrawal of the army criticism of General Smith Confederates should not have lost the battle Keyes's corroboration. Major-General G. W. Smith was of the highest standing of the West Point classes, and, like others of the Engineers, had a big name to help him in the position to which he had been suddenly called by the incapacitation of the Confederate commander. I found his Headquarters at one o'clock in the morning, reported the work of the commands on the Williamsburg road on the 31st, and asked for part of the troops ordered up by General Johnston, that we might resume battle at daylight. He was disturbed by reports of pontoon bridges, said to be under construction for the use of other reinforcements to join the enemy from the east side, and was anxious lest the enemy might march his two corps on the east side by the upper river and occupy Richmond. But after a time these notions gave way, and he suggested that we could renew the battle on the Williamsburg road, provide
Richard H. Anderson (search for this): chapter 8
the pivotal point, and, upon having the enemy's line fully exposed, would find the field fine for his batteries, and put them in practice without orders from his commander, and, breaking the enemy's line by an enfilade fire from his artillery, would come into battle and give it cohesive power. I left Headquarters at three o'clock, and after an hour's repose rode to the front to find General Hill. Wilcox's brigade was on my right on the return front, Pryor's brigade on his left, and R. H. Anderson, Kemper, Colston, Armistead, and Mahone occupied the line between the Williamsburg road and the railroad. Pickett's brigade was ordered to be with General Hill at daylight, and Maurin's, Stribling's, and Watson's batteries, of Pickett's brigade, to take position on the right of Armistead's. I found General Hill before he had his breakfast, enjoying the comforts of Casey's camp. Pickett had passed and was in search of his position, which was soon disclosed by a fusillade from the f
Lewis A. Armistead (search for this): chapter 8
rode to the front to find General Hill. Wilcox's brigade was on my right on the return front, Pryor's brigade on his left, and R. H. Anderson, Kemper, Colston, Armistead, and Mahone occupied the line between the Williamsburg road and the railroad. Pickett's brigade was ordered to be with General Hill at daylight, and Maurin's, Stribling's, and Watson's batteries, of Pickett's brigade, to take position on the right of Armistead's. I found General Hill before he had his breakfast, enjoying the comforts of Casey's camp. Pickett had passed and was in search of his position, which was soon disclosed by a fusillade from the front of Richardson's division.w that Smith wouldn't shoot. Under this long and severe infantry fight there was no point on my part of the field upon which we could post a single gun. Part of Armistead's new troops gave way, but the gallant brigadier maintained his ground and soon collected his other regiments. Before this I had reported ready, and awaiting a
David B. Birney (search for this): chapter 8
enemy's third intrenched line. Smith's part of the field was open and fine for artillery practice. The field fronting on the railroad was so shut in by heavy pine forest and tangled swamp that we had no place for a single gun. D. H. Hill's division was in reserve near the Casey encampment. The enemy stood: Sedgwick's division in front of Smith; Richardson's division in column of three brigades parallel to the railroad and behind it, prepared to attack my left; on Richardson's left was Birney's brigade behind the railroad, and under the enemy's third intrenched line were the balance of the Third and all of the Fourth Corps. So the plan to wheel on Smith's right as a pivot, my right stepping out on the wheel, would have left the Third and Fourth Corps to attack our rear as soon as we moved. Besides, it was evident that our new commander would do nothing, and we must look to accident for such aid as might be drawn to us during the battle. The plan proposed could only be co
Joe Brown (search for this): chapter 8
plan, but balky troops will mar the strongest plans. He tries to persuade himself that he intended to join our battle on the Williamsburg road, but there was no fight in his heart after his maladroit encounter with Sedgwick's division on the afternoon of the 31st. The opportunity for enfilade fire of his artillery along the enemy's battle front, at the morning opening and all of the forenoon, was waiting him; while reports of the enemy crossing the river, reinforcing against my single contest, were demanding relief and aid. He reported sick on the 2d and left the army. When ready for duty he was assigned about Richmond and the seaboard of North Carolina. He applied to be restored to command of his division in the field, but the authorities thought his services could be used better elsewhere. He resigned his commission in the Confederate service, went to Georgia, and joined Joe Brown's militia, where he found congenial service, better suited to his ideas of vigorous warfare.
o find General Hill. Wilcox's brigade was on my right on the return front, Pryor's brigade on his left, and R. H. Anderson, Kemper, Colston, Armistead, and Mahone occupied the line between the Williamsburg road and the railroad. Pickett's brigade was ordered to be with General Hill at daylight, and Maurin's, Stribling's, and Watson's batteries, of Pickett's brigade, to take position on the right of Armistead's. I found General Hill before he had his breakfast, enjoying the comforts of Casey's camp. Pickett had passed and was in search of his position, which was soon disclosed by a fusillade from the front of Richardson's division. A party of bummers from Richmond had found their way into the camp at Fair Oaks, and were getting such things as they could put their hands on. They were taken in the gray of the morning for Confederate troops and fired upon. This made some confusion with our new troops, and part of them opened fire in the wrong direction, putting two or three bull
R. T. Colston (search for this): chapter 8
give it cohesive power. I left Headquarters at three o'clock, and after an hour's repose rode to the front to find General Hill. Wilcox's brigade was on my right on the return front, Pryor's brigade on his left, and R. H. Anderson, Kemper, Colston, Armistead, and Mahone occupied the line between the Williamsburg road and the railroad. Pickett's brigade was ordered to be with General Hill at daylight, and Maurin's, Stribling's, and Watson's batteries, of Pickett's brigade, to take positiox received the order to retire, and in undue haste pulled his command out, assumed authority over Pryor, and ordered him off. Pickett, the true soldier, knowing that the order was not intended for such emergency, stood and resisted the attack. Colston was sent to his aid, and the attack was repulsed. Immediately after this repulse was a quiet advance upon Pickett's right. The commander asked, What troops are these? Virginians! Don't fire! he ordered; we will capture the last one of these
Thomas B. French (search for this): chapter 8
s position good, but his orders were to retire. Our cavalry had established communication with headquarters, and gave prompt notice of movements as they occurred. The pivot was moving to the rear, but battle on the Williamsburg road steadily advanced, with orders to develop the enemy's battle front through its extent along the railroad; not to make the fancied wheel, but to expose his line to the practice of our batteries on the Nine Miles road. Our infantry moved steadily, engaging French's brigade of Richardson's division, which was led by one of Howard's regiments. French was supported by Howard's brigade, and Howard by Meagher's, and the firing extended along my line as far as the return front of my right. But Magruder was not on the field to seize the opportunity for his artillery. He was nowhere near the battle,--had not been called. General Whiting, however, saw the opportunity so inviting, and reported to his commander at half after six o'clock,-- 1 am going t
D. H. Hill (search for this): chapter 8
by heavy pine forest and tangled swamp that we had no place for a single gun. D. H. Hill's division was in reserve near the Casey encampment. The enemy stood: Sedrters at three o'clock, and after an hour's repose rode to the front to find General Hill. Wilcox's brigade was on my right on the return front, Pryor's brigade on hlliamsburg road and the railroad. Pickett's brigade was ordered to be with General Hill at daylight, and Maurin's, Stribling's, and Watson's batteries, of Pickett's brigade, to take position on the right of Armistead's. I found General Hill before he had his breakfast, enjoying the comforts of Casey's camp. Pickett had passhem opened fire in the wrong direction, putting two or three bullets through General Hill's tent before he got out of it. Hood's brigade of Smith's division, the pivo and beat him to disorder, and change the lost battle to success. He shows that Hill's and Longstreet's divisions could have gained the battle unaided,--which may be
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