very anxious to make such efforts in the future. One ill-advised despatch, one piece of gross injustice, has wounded the spirit and chilled the ardor of thousands of men as brave and as jealous of their honor as any that ever fought the battles of their country. And their affection for and confidence in the man that did them this wrong are gone forever. Let justice be done to us, and then give us more men to fill up our skeleton regiments, and try us in the advance again; or else let justice be done and the whole brigade mustered out of the service, which since this disgrace, has no charm for it. I am, dear sir, very truly yours,
D. camp near Bottom's Bridge, before Richmond, Va., June 7, 1862.
headquarters army of the Potomac, June 5, 1862--11 P. M.Gen. Casey, Bottom's Bridge: The following despatch has just been transmitted:
headquarters army of the Potomac, June 5.sir: My despatch of the first inst., stating that Gen. Casey's division, which was in the first line, gave way unaccountably and discreditably, was based upon official statements made to me before I arrived upon the field of battle, and while I was there, by several commanders. From statements made to me subsequently by Gens. Casey and Naglee, I am induced to believe that portions of the division behaved well, and made a most gallant stand against superior numbers; but at present the accounts are too conflicting to enable me to discriminate with certainty. When the facts are clearly ascertained, the exceptional good conduct will be properly acknowledged.
Hon. Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War:G. B. Mcclellan, Major-General Commanding.
Rebel reports and narratives. Gen. Johnston S report.
Keyes's corps was encamped on this side of the Chickahominy, near the Williamsburgh road. On that day Major-Gen. D. H. Hill reported a strong body immediately in his front. On receiving this report, I determined to attack them next morning, hoping to be able to defeat Keyes's corps completely in its more advanced position before it could be reenforced. Written orders were despatched to Major-Gens. Hill, Huger and G. W. Smith. Gen. Longstreet, being near my headquarters, received verbal instructions. The receipt of the orders was acknowledged. Gen. Hill, supported by the division of Gen. Longstreet, (who had the direction of operations on the right,) was to advance by the Williamsburgh road, to attack the enemy in front; Gen. Huger, with his division, was to move down the Charles City road, in order to attack in flank the troops who might be engaged with Hill and Longstreet, unless he found in his front force enough to occupy the division. Gen. Smith was to march to the junction of the New-Bridge road and theNine-mile road, to be in readiness either to fall on Keyes's right flank, or to cover Longstreet's left. They were to move at daybreak. Heavy and protracted rains during the afternoon and night, by swelling the stream of the Chickahominy, increased the probability of our having to deal with no other troops than those of Keyes. The same cause prevented the prompt and punctual movement of the troops. Those of Smith, Hill and Longstreet were in position early enough, however, to commence operations by eight A. M. Major-General Longstreet, unwilling to make a partial attack, instead of the combined movement which had been planned, waited from hour to hour for Gen. Huger's division. At length, at two o'clock P. M., he determined to attack without these troops. He accordingly commenced his advance at that hour, opening the engagement with artillery and skirmishers. By three o'clock it became close and heavy. In the mean time, I had placed myself on the left of the force employed in this attack, with the division of Gen. Smith, that I might be on a part of the field where I could observe, and be ready to meet any counter movement which the enemy's General might make against our centre or left. Owing to some peculiar condition of the atmosphere, the sound of the musketry did not reach us. I consequently deferred giving the signal for Gen. Smith's advance till four o'clock, at which time Major Jasper Whiting, of Gen. Smith's staff, whom I had sent to learn the state of affairs with Gen. Longstreet's column, returned, reporting that it was pressing on with vigor. Smith's troops were at once moved forward. The principal attack was made by Major-Gen. Longstreet, with his own and Major-Gen. D. H. Hill's divisions — the latter mostly in advance. Hill's brave troops, admirably commanded and gallantly led, forced their way through the abattis, which formed the enemy's external defences, and stormed their intrenchments by a determined and irresistible rush. Such was the manner in which the enemy's first line was carried. The operation was repeated with the same gallantry and success as our troops pursued their victorious career through the enemy's successive camps and intrenchments. At each new position they encountered fresh troops belonging to it, and reenforcements brought on from the rear. Thus they had to repel repeated efforts to retake works which they had carried. But their advance was never successfully resisted. Their onward movement was only stayed by the coming of night. By nightfall they had forced their way to the “Seven Pines,” having driven the enemy back more than two miles, through their own camps, and from a series of intrenchments, and repelled every attempt to recapture them with great slaughter. The skill, vigor, and decision, with which these operations were conducted by Gen. Longstreet, are worthy of the highest praise. He was worthily seconded by