Major-Gen. Hill, of whose conduct and courage he speaks in the highest terms. Major-Gen. Smith's division moved forward at four o'clock, Whiting's three brigades leading. Their progress was impeded by the enemy's skirmishers, which, with their supports, were driven back to the railroad. At this point Whiting's own and Pettigrew's brigades engaged a superior force of the enemy. Hood's, by my order, moved on to cooperate with Longstreet. Gen. Smith was desired to hasten up with all the troops within reach. He brought up Hampton's and Hatton's brigades in a few minutes. The strength of the enemy's position, however, enabled him to hold it until dark. About sunset, being struck from my horse, severely wounded by a fragment of a shell, I was carried from the field, and Major-General G. W. Smith succeeded to the command. He was prevented from resuming his attack on the enemy's position next morning, by the discovery of strong intrenchments not seen on the previous evening. His division bivouacked, on the night of the thirty-first, within musket-shot of the intrenchments which they were attacking when darkness staid the conflict. The skill, energy and resolution with which Major-General Smith directed the attack would have secured success if it could have been made an hour earlier. The troops of Longstreet and Hill passed the night of the thirty-first on the ground which they had won. The enemy were strongly reenforced from the north side of the Chickahominy on the evening and night of the thirty-first. The troops engaged by Gen. Smith were, undoubtedly, from the other side of the river. On the morning of the first of June, the enemy attacked the brigade of Gen. Pickett, which was supported by that of General Pryor. The attack was vigorously repelled by these two brigades, the brunt of the fight falling on General Pickett. This was the last demonstration made by the enemy. Our troops employed the residue of the day in securing and bearing off the captured artillery, small arms, and other property, and in the evening quietly returned to their own camps. We took ten pieces of artillery, six thousand (6000) muskets, one garrison flag and four regimental colors, besides a large quantity of tents and camp equipage.
That of the enemy is stated in their own newspapers to have exceeded ten thousand--an estimate which is, no doubt, short of the truth.
Had Major-Gen. Huger's division been in position, and ready for action, when those of Smith, Longstreet, and Hill moved, I am satisfied that Keyes's corps would have been destroyed, instead of being merely defeated.
Had it gone into action even at four o'clock, the victory would have been much more complete.
Major-Generals Smith and Longstreet speak in high terms of the conduct of their superior and staff-officers.
I beg leave to ask the attention of the government especially to the manner in which Brig.-Generals Whiting and R. H. Anderson, and Colonels Jenkins, and Kemper, and Hampton, exercising commands above their grades, and Brig.-Gen. Rhodes, are mentioned.
This, and the captured colors, will be delivered by Major A. H. Cole, of my staff.
I have been prevented by feebleness from making this report sooner, and am still too weak to make any but a very imperfect one.
Several hundred prisoners were taken, but I have received no report of the number.
Your obedient servant,
|Major-Gen. Longstreet reports the loss in his command as being about||3000|
|Major-Gen. Smith reports his loss at||1233|
J. E. Johnston, General.
Jefferson Davis's address.
Executive office, June 2, 1862.I render to you my grateful acknowledgments for the gallantry and good conduct you displayed in the battles of the thirty-first of May, and first inst., and with pride and pleasure recognise the steadiness and intrepidity with which you attacked the enemy in position, captured his advanced intrenchments, several batteries of artillery and many standards, and everywhere drove them from the open field. At a part of your operations it was my fortune to be present. On no other occasion have I witnessed more of calmness and good order than you exhibited while advancing into the very jaws of death, and nothing could exceed the prowess with which you closed upon the enemy when a sheet of fire was blazing in your faces! In the renewed struggles in which you are on the eve of engaging, I ask and can desire but a continuance of the same conduct which now attracts the admiration and pride of the loved ones you have left at home. You are fighting for all that is dearest to men; and, though opposed to a foe who disregards many of the usages of civilized war, your humanity to the wounded and the prisoners was the fit and crowning glory to your valor. Defenders of a just cause, may God have you in his holy keeping!
To the Army of Richmond:
To the Army of Richmond:
The general will cause the above to be read to the troops under his command.
Richmond Dispatch account.
Richmond, June 2.The terrific thunder-storm of last Friday night led many to suppose that military operations on our lines would be retarded for several days, and particularly with those who were considered to be au fait with the topographical nature of the country on which our noble army was stationed. With a volatile stream and swamp in front, (the Chickahominy,) it was