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[239] the right wing, to secure the benefits of a division of labor. He writes of the

Battle of Gaines's Mills, Friday, June 27th.

The battle opened about one o'clock by skirmishing, particularly in front of Griffin's brigade, near the mill, and by an artillery attack from the battery planted in the orchard near the Gaines House. The enemy felt our position rapidly, and along the whole line at the same time, showing that he was in full force. By two o'clock there had been several conflicts between opposing regiments, without any particular result, save that our men steadily maintained their line. About this time Gen. Griffin's brigade, whose front was covered by Berdan's sharp-shooters, advanced through to the edge of the woods toward Gaines's Mill and made the first important opening of the battle. The enemy at once replied. The Ninth Massachusetts, Col. Case, a strong and brave regiment, with the Fourth Michigan and Fourteenth New-York, had the principal position. The Sixty-second Pennsylvania took position on the extreme right, where the enemy appeared very strong. Weeden's Rhode Island battery, from position in rear of the woods, plied shell and solid shot with accuracy and effect. This was the earliest collision between our forces and the enemy.

The action immediately began with vigor on the extreme right, held by Gen. Sykes's division, composed of Gen. Warner's, Col. Buchanan's and Col. Chapman's brigades. These brigades supported Weed's, Edward's and Tidball's batteries, all regulars. The enemy attacked very fiercely, charging repeatedly, but were as often repulsed.

The enemy delayed their assault upon our left for some time, though Martindale's brave fellows, who were exceedingly well posted, gave them several very destructive volleys, which caused them to recoil with shattered columns up over the hill, down which they had advanced. A brilliant episode occurred on the left of Martindale's brigade, where the Thirteenth New-York and the fire-proof and scarred veterans of the Second Maine were posted. A brigade of Alabamians moved up over the crest of a hill in splendid style, even, stead and resolute, with arms at right shoulder shift, ready for a charge. “Up and at them,” was the word along our line, and the two regiments which had lain concealed in the low growth of timber in the valley, sprang to their feet, and one piercing, terrible volley of death-dealing Minies was poured into the ranks of the confident enemy.

The gray-coats fled in terror and dismay, discharging only a few random shots. The range was so close that the whites of the eyes of the rebels could almost be distinguished. The hill was cleared as though swept by a hurricane. One of the regiments left their colors and battleflag flag upon the field. The regimental color was secured by Colonel roberts, of the Second Maine, and the battle-flag by Captain Sullivan, of the Thirteenth New-York, who followed the retreating enemy and secured it. Captain Sullivan found the field literally covered with the rebel dead, there being over eighty near the spot where the colors fell.

The gallant men of the famous Light Brigade, as already stated, had the important position of the extreme left of our line. Their right rested near the New-Bridge road, and their left extended into the woods, joining Martindale's right. They were somewhat sheltered by a ditch-fence, and when in position looked up the hill through an open field, on the top of which the enemy took position. They formed in line of battle, the Forty-fourth New-York supported by the Sixteenth Michigan, and the Eighty-third Pennsylvania by the Twelfth New-York. (The Seventeenth New-York, of this brigade, as noted elsewhere, had been sent on special duty to another point.) Allen's Massachusetts battery took up a position on the right of the brigade, and battered the enemy fiercely.

The action had become general along the whole line. Stonewall Jackson's column had formed a junction with Lee, and soon attacked our right with great vigor and pertinacity, but he met a galling fire from Edwards's, Martin's, and Weeden's batteries, which sent him reeling back in disorder. Again he gathered his columns, supported them by fresh troops, again advanced, extending his lines as if to flank our right, and renewed the attack with greater ferocity than ever, to be again repulsed with terrible slaughter. Sykes's regulars, and Warren's brigade, in which are the Duryea Zouaves and Bendix's Tenth New-York regiment, played a brilliant part in this portion of the engagement, the Zouaves especially fighting with a desperation and tenacity only to be expected from such superior men. they suffered largely, their peculiar uniform being the especial mark of ten thousand rebel soldiers.

The flank movement of the enemy against our right did not succeed. We extended our line at the same time, and when Jackson was repulsed the third time, he withdrew from that part of the field and did not renew the attempt.

The tactics of the enemy were soon apparent. It was in massing troops and making sudden onslaughts on this and then on that portion of our columns, by which he expected to break them somewhere, and defeat if not rout us. His next movement was against our centre. Part of Jackson's column, reenforced by a large body from Hill's division, now made a desperate onset against the centre, the North-Carolina regiments being placed in front, and literally compelled to fight. Here the conflict was long and bloody, and reged for nearly two hours with great violence. The columns surged backward and forward, first one yielding and then the other. An idea of the great magnitude of this portion of the fight may be obtained, when I say that this part of the line was successively reenforced by McCall's reserves, the brigades of General Newton, Colonel Bartlett and Colonel Taylor, of Slocum's division, and it was not until the last fresh brigade was hurled against them that they were

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