loss of Col. G. D. Bailey, my chief of artillery, who fell in the attempt to spike the pieces in my redoubt, which were necessarily abandoned. Col. Bailey was an officer of thorough military education, of clear and accurate mind, cool, determined and intrepid in the discharge of his duty, and promising, with riper years, to honor still more the profession to which he was devoted. About the same time also fell Major Van Valkenburg, of the First regiment New-York artillery, a brave and discreet and energetic officer. Under the circumstances, I think it my duty to add a few remarks with regard to my division. On leaving Washington, eight of the regiments were composed of raw troops. It has been the misfortune of the division, marching through the Peninsula, to be subjected to an ordeal which would have severely tried veteran troops. Furnished with scanty transportation, occupying sickly positions, exposed to the inclemency of the weather, at times without tents or blankets; illy supplied with rations and medical stores, the loss from sickness has been great, especially with the officers. Yet a party from my division took possession of the railroad-bridge across the Chickahominy, driving the enemy from it, and my division took the advance on the twenty-third day of May, and, by an energetic reconnoissance, drove the enemy beyond the Seven Pines. Notwithstanding all these drawbacks, and the fact that there were not five thousand men in line of battle, they withstood for three hours the attack of an overwhelming force of the enemy without the reenforcement of a single man at my first line. The Fifty-fifth regiment New-York volunteers reached my second line just before it was evacuated. If a portion of my division did not behave as well as could have been wished, it must be remembered to what a terrible ordeal they were subjected; still those that behaved discreditably were exceptional cases. It is true that the division, after being nearly surrounded by the enemy and losing one third of the number actually engaged, retreated to the second line; they would all have been prisoners of war had they delayed their retreat a few minutes longer. In my humble opinion, from what I witnessed on the thirty-first, I am convinced that the stubborn and desperate resistance of my division saved the army on the right bank of the Chickahominy from a severe repulse, which might have resulted in a disastrous defeat. The blood of the gallant dead would cry to me from the ground on which they fell fighting for their country, had I not said what I have to vindicate them from the unmerited aspersions which have been cast upon them.
Silas Casey, Brigadier-General Commanding.
Report of Brig.-General Naglee.
Lieutenant: Before alluding to the occurrences of the thirty-first of May, it would probably add to a better understanding of the subject to refer to the advance of my brigade on the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth, a week previous. Having crossed the railroad bridge, and examined the Chickahominy from the railroad to Bottom's Bridge, on the twentieth, and made a reconnoissance from the “Chimneys” near Bottom's Bridge to within two miles of the James River, on the Quaker road, on the twenty-third, Gen. McClellan ordered me to make a reconnoissance of the road and country by the Williamsburgh road as far as the Seven Pines, on Saturday, the twenty-fourth, with instructions, “if possible, to advance to the Seven Pines, or the forks of the direct road to Richmond, and the road turning to the right into the road leading from New-Bridge to Richmond, and to hold that point if practicable.” Under these instructions, with the addition of two batteries of Col. Bailey's New-York First artillery, and Col. Gregg's cavalry, we pushed the reconnoissance, not without considerable opposition, to the Seven Pines on the day referred to; one mile and a half beyond the Pines on the following day; and to a line perpendicular to the railroad from Richmond to West-Point, intersecting it midway between the fifth and sixth mileposts, on the day following the last; and on the day after, the twenty-seventh, extended it across to theNine-mile road, where it is intersected by the road to Garnett's house, and thence by this road bearing to the right. Our picket lines extended to the Chickahominy. This line, from the river across the railroad to the Williamsburgh road, about three miles long, was picketed at first by the First brigade, and afterwards by Casey's division, but placed more directly under the charge and protection of the regiments of the First brigade, which were encamped along its entire length for that purpose. The picket line proposed to be kept up, and the supports to the same, from the left of the above picket line on the Williamsburgh road to the White Oak Swamp, were especially entrusted to Gen. Couch. This was the line of our advance on Saturday, the thirty-first of May, at twelve M., when two shells thrown into our camp first announced the hostile intentions of the enemy. No alarm was felt by any one, for it was seldom that twenty-four hours passed that we did not exchange similar salutations. Soon after it was reported that an attack was impending, the usual orders were issued, and within half an hour the troops moved to positions that were assigned to them by Gen. Casey. Being at this time on the “Nine-mile road,” near a breastwork fronting the “Old Tavern,” then under construction, and judging, from the discharges of musketry becoming frequent, that something serious was intended, I hastened in the direction indicated by the fire, and soon arrived upon the ground, on the Williamsburgh road, about three quarters of a mile in front of the “Seven Pines,” where I found Gen. Casey, who had placed the One Hundredth New-York, Col. Brown, on the left of that road, behind a field of large timber that had been cut down. On the right of the same road was placed Capt. Spratt's New-York battery of four pieces. On the right of this were three companies of the Eleventh Maine, Col. Plaisted;