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[143] such armies. Had ours been so strengthened in time to attack that of the United States when it reached the Chickahominy, and before being intrenched, results might and ought to have been decisive; still, that army, as led by its distinguished commander, compelled the Federal general to abandon his plan of operations, and reduced him to the defensive, and carried back the war to Northern Virginia.

No action of the war has been so little understood as that of Seven Pines; the Southern people have felt no interest in it, because, being unfinished in consequence of the disabling of the commander, they saw no advantage derived from it; and the Federal commanders claimed the victory because the Confederate forces did not renew the battle on Sunday, and fell back to their camps on Monday.

General Sumner stated to the committee on the conduct of the war, that he had, in the battle of Fair Oaks, five or six thousand men in Sedgwick's division, part of Couch's, and a battery, and that, after the firing had continued some time, six regiments which he had in hand on the left of the battery charged directly into the woods; the enemy then fled, and the battle was over for that day.

General Heintzelman, before the same committee, claimed the victory at Seven Pines, upon no other ground that I can perceive,than the withdrawal of the Confederates to their camps on Monday, although his statement shows clearly that all his troops and Keyes's1 that fought there were defeated, and driven back six or seven miles to the shelter of intrenchments previously prepared by his forethought; and

1 Kearney's division; Hooker's was not engaged.

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