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[234] was made to dislodge him by a body sent to reenforce those previously driven out. A hard fight ensued, and the attempt was repulsed.

But while the enemy were thus driven on the left the right did not get along so well. There the enemy's whole available force seemed concentrated in one endeavor to bear down the gallant Excelsior brigade. Reenforcements were ordered there immediately, and Birney's brigade went up the Williamsburgh road at the double-quick. As these regiments filed off, cheered by those they passed, a chorus of responsive cheers arose from Grover's brave fellows away off on the left, as they drove the enemy before them. Sickles's boys took it up in turn and made a stouter push at the foe. Every body seemed exhilarated at the sound. Orderly after orderly rushed in to tell how Grover was driving them, and others to say that Sickles could hold his ground till Birney could reach him.

Just at this exciting juncture the order was received from general headquarters to “withdraw gradually to the original line.” They all believed that we were beaten on some other part of the line, and that we had gone too far ahead for safety, and all retired in good order and took up the line in the edge of the wood nearest to camp. This was at about half-past 11 A. M.

Gen. McClellan and staff rode upon the field at one P. M., escorted by Capt. McIntyre's squadron of regular cavalry and the First regiment New-York volunteer cavalry, Col. McReynolds. He made his headquarters at Fair Oaks, where Heintzelman's had previously been, and there drew around him all the sources of information that such occasions furnish.

All were then in amazement at the recent unaccountable order; but he soon saw how affairs stood, and ordered very shortly after that the same advance should be again made. The order was received with joy on every hand.

Once more they went forward in the same order in which they had already done so well. Grover, on the left, got in first again and rattled away; but the resistance there was not so tenacious as it had been, and he pushed through, still finding, however, enough resistance to keep up the interest. Kearney, on the extreme left, found also no great resistance; but on the Williams-burgh road, in front of Gen. Sickles, the fighting was harder than ever. For nearly three quarters of an hour the hard fire was continued at this point.

Thus the battle stood at a little after two o'clock, when Gen. J. N. Palmer's (late Deven's) brigade, of Couch's division, was ordered up to support Sickles. The vigilant and ever ready commander of the Fourth corps had put Couch's division under arms when the firing first became warm on the left, and they had awaited their chance till now. They went up the road handsomely, the Massachusetts Tenth, commanded by Lieut.-Colonel Decker, in advance, followed by the Rhode Island Second, Col. Frank Wheaton; the New-York Thirty-six, Col. Innis, and the Massachusetts Seventh, Col. Russell.

At the same time, battery D, First New-York artillery, (four rifled pieces,) Capt. T. W. Osborn, was ordered up the Williamsburgh road, to shell the woods beyond our advance. It was expected that they would throw shell directly over our advancing line into the enemy's line and into his camp beyond. Several of Capt. Osborn's shells fell false, and exploded in the rear and even right in the ranks of our men. By this means, the Massachusetts Seventh, which was deployed in the woods as skirmishers, lost several men, and by one of these shells, Lieut. Bullock, of that regiment, received a wound which will doubtless prove fatal. This fire was immediately stopped.

The guns of battery K, Fourth United States artillery, Capt. De Russy, were then sent up the road and into the wood, and took position right in the midst of Palmer's brigade, and thence opened fire, which they kept up briskly for some minutes. Meanwhile, there was an almost complete cessation of the musketry — fire. At the same time, Gen. Sumner began to shell the woods on his front, and the artillery-men had it all to themselves.

The continual push of the Excelsior brigade and the fire of the artillery finally forced the enemy entirely through the woods, and our line now lay just in the farther edge of it. Thus we had gained our object, and there the battle rested for a time. The fire now fell off into an occasional shot from skirmishers, and in that position matters continued until six P. M.

At about that hour, Gen. Kearney led Birney's brigade against the enemy. Pushing in on Grover's left and between Grover and Robinson, he went at it in gallant style, and entirely cleared the woods. The fire there was very fierce for several minutes, when it subsided, and shortly all was quiet again.

Soon after dark, large bodies of the enemy were brought up in front of the position held by Gen. Palmer, and the rebels also pushed forward at that point a battery of field-pieces. Arrangements were in progress to strengthen our position there, when at ten o'clock P. M., a large force was pushed in suddenly, and delivered a volley in the line of the Second Rhode Island and Tenth Massachusetts. Some confusion ensued, but the men were soon rallied and repulsed this threatened advance, and drove the enemy back with considerable slaughter.

Among the list of wounded we find the following: Fred. Swain, company D, head; James R. Buckner, company F, arm broken — both of the Second Rhode Island.


Rebel account of the battle.

Richmond, June 26.
It was generally expected that a fierce and general engagement would have taken place at our lines yesterday, and from every indication and preparation the surmise seemed to be well founded; but, although all were on the tiptoe of expectation, yesterday passed, like many others, without the realization of the much looked for and desired event. Early in the day cannonading, both from our own and the enemy's positions,


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