its way across the swollen Chlikahominy
, checked tile Rebel advance in that direction.
, who held the left of Conch's position, had been divested of most of his regiments aforesaid, which were successively ordered up to the front by Couch
, until, at 4 1/2 P. M., he led the 102d Pennsylvania, Col. Rowley
, and 93d, Col. McCarter
, to the aid of our crumbling right, and was for half an hour sharply engaged with the triumphant enemy near Seven Pines
, losing some ground, but encamping very near his field of conflict.
was promptly summoned to the aid of Couch
; but there was an unaccounted — for delay in the reception of the message, and some of his regiments did not rush to the front quite so impetuously as a good portion of Couch
's, especially the 55th New York (De Trobriand
's Frenchmen), made tracks for the rear.
It was a quarter past 3 o'clock before Heintzelhman came fairly into the fight; Jamison
's Michigan brigades eagerly pushing to the front.
On the Rebel
left, Gen. Smith
's attack was delayed by Johnston
, who was there in person, until 4 P. M., listening for the sound of Longstreet
's musketry, which, for some atmospheric reason, he failed to hear.
It was now too late for complete success, though his men fought desperately.
The Richmond and York River Railroad, near its crossing of theNine-mile road, runs for a considerable distance on an embankment 4 or 5 feet high, forming an effective breastwork, behind which our men held stubbornly and fought gallantly.
, with live regiments, was at Fair Oaks
(the crossing aforesaid), instructed to hold the position at all hazards.
Here fell Gen. C. Devens
, severely wounded; while of the 61st Pennsylvania, Col. Rippey
, Lt.-Col. Spear
, and Maj. Smith
fell dead, and 27 of the line officers were either killed or wounded; and near this point, at sunset, Gen. Jo. Johnston
, the Rebel
Commander-in-chief, was struck in the side by a shell and badly wounded, breaking two ribs in falling, from his horse, so that he was disabled for service for several months.
Gen. G. W. Smith
succeeded him in command ; but he was very soon disabled by a paralytic stroke, and removed from the field.
One of the last Rebel charges on this part of the field was led by Jefferson Davis
Hearing vaguely of trouble on the left, McClellan
, still at New Bridge
, had ordered Sumner
, who bad Sedgwick
's and Richardson
's divisions, to cross to the relief of Couch
; and Sedgwick
, with the advance, reached the field on our right an hour and a half before sunset, just as the triumphant Rebels had turned Couch
's left, interposing between him and Heintzelman
(who, in coming up, had swayed to the right), with intent to sever and defeat our two corps on the south of the Chickahominy
, advancing rapidly, interposed at the critical moment, and, forming in line of battle in the edge of a wood, with a large open field in his front, commenced a fire of canister from his 24 guns on the head of the enemy's advancing column, which staggered it; and then, moving forward his whole division in line of battle, he completely