The correspondent of the New-York Herald
gives the following graphic account of the engagement:
It should be clearly understood what this particular fight was for. It was not an interruption of our march to Richmond
, in which, as might be supposed, the rebels threw themselves in our way and stopped us at a mile from our original line.
It was a fight for a position — a determined struggle for a piece of ground which it was deemed necessary that we should “have and hold.”
This piece of ground is barely a mile beyond our former line, and we have it, and hold it.
It will be remembered that the field on which the battle of Fair Oaks
, or Seven Pines
, was fought, is bounded on the side toward Richmond
by a line of woods.
This wood extends on either side of the Williamsburgh
road for a mile, and beyond it is a piece of open country.
Our outer pickets have been hitherto posted in that edge of the wood which is furthest from the sacred city, and the line of rebel pickets was drawn only a little further in the woods, and so near to our line that the men could talk to one another.
It appeared to be well understood that any further advance on our part would bring on a general engagement; and in that view our line was kept stationary.
But finally it was deemed necessary that our pickets should be posted at the other edge of the wood.
Accordingly Gen. Heintzelman
was ordered to advance the pickets on his front to the point named, and to advance the pickets on his left in a line with those in front.
At seven A. M., therefore, the greater part of his two divisions was in line and ready for action; but the advance was not made by so large a force.
Two brigades of Hooker
's division — Grover
's and Sickles
's — did nearly all the work, though some other brigades were slightly engaged before the day was over.
's brigade is composed of the five “Excelsior regiments” --the Seventieth, Seventy-first, Seventy-second, Seventy-third and Seventy-fourth New-York.
This gallant body of men has lost so heavily in previous battles, and by illness, that it mustered for Wednesday's fight only fourteen hundred men. Grover
's brigade is composed of the First Massachusetts, Col. Cowdin
; the Second New-Hampshire, Col. Gilman Marston
; the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania, temporarily commanded by Lieut.--Colonel Wells
, of the First Massachusetts ; the Massachusetts Eleventh, Col. William Blaisdell
; and the Massachusetts Sixteenth, Col. Wyman