previous next
[161] part in this struggle. By 9 P. M., the enemy had recoiled, without having gained the least advantage; and our soldiers fell back, by order, upon White Oak Swamp: Gen. French's brigade, forming our rear-guard, being in motion by midnight; crossing and destroying White Oak Swamp Bridge at 5 A. M. next morning.1

Jackson, who had been delayed by the necessity of rebuilding the Grapevine Bridge over the Chickahominy, reached Savage's Station early this morning, and was ordered, with Longstreet and A. P. Hill, to follow immediately on the track of our army, while huger, supported by Magruder, pushed down on our right.

McClellan, with perhaps a third of our army, had already emerged from the Swamp, upon the high, open ground near Malvern Hill; while Gen. Holmes, who had just brought part of a Rebel division across from the south side of James river to Richmond, moved down upon the river road, reenforced by Gen. Wise, with part of his brigade. Coming in sight of our advance near Malvern, he was about to open with his artillery, when he found that we were far too strong for him, and recoiled, awaiting the advance of Magruder to his aid.

Jackson was to have deflected toward the Chickahominy, so as to gain our right flank and rear; but his advance was checked by the destruction of the bridge in his front; and on reaching, at noon, White Oak Swamp Bridge, he was confronted by Gen. Franklin, with Smith's division of his own corps, and Richardson's, of Sumner's, and Naglee's brigade, by which all his efforts to cross during the day and evening were repelled and baffled. A heavy fire of artillery, directed by Capt. Ayres, was maintained throughout that day and evening; Capt. Hazzard's battery being badly cut up and its commander mortally wounded; but, though the enemy replied with equal spirit, and inflicted as well as suffered much loss, our position was too strong to be carried by assault; and every attempt of the Rebels to cross the marsh and creek — the bridge having been destroyed — was worsted. During the night, our troops retired by order, leaving 350 sick and wounded, and some disabled guns, to fall an easy prey to the enemy, as he advanced unopposed next morning.

But the main conflict of the day occurred at the crossing of the creek some two miles farther up, or to the right of Jackson, where Lee in person, with Jefferson Davis, accompanied Longstreet's advance, at the head of his own and A. P. Hill's divisions; encountering no resistance until noon, when their advance descried our rear-guard, strongly posted upon the road leading from New Market to Long Bridge, and having a small branch of the White Oak Swamp creek in their front. Seeing that we were in force, Longstreet waited till 3 P. M. for the coming up of Huger, who was some 3 or 4 miles distant, on his right, or Jackson, who was still nearer, on his left; but, as neither arrived, he at length ordered his batteries to open and his infantry to charge, under cover of a shower of shells.

McCall, with his Pennsylvania Reserves, which hard fighting had

1 June 30.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
June 30th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: