Those men were heart-broken. They had fought bravely, would fight again, but they needed rest so sorely. Reader, it was agonizing to look upon such scenes; no man whose sensibilities had not been hardened into steel could check a sigh, or even a tear, in such presence. And now go with me under the river-bank and look at the suffering braves, mangled and torn by shot and shell. But no, the cup is full. I cannot detail the battle of Monday. Brigades, and regiments, and companies, and fragments of each were fought as they could be used. It matters not who were here or there<*> It was a terrible battle. Gen. McCall was lost. Gen. Sumner was twice wounded, but not seriously. His wounds were bound on the field, and he remained in the saddle and in the fiery torrent. Col. Wyman, too, of the Eighteenth Massachusetts, was killed. General Meade was severely wounded. How many others I cannot tell. It was a bloody day. There will be weeping at many a hearthstone, and many a loved one was lost who will be sought for long and never found. Sumner, and Heintzelman, and Franklin, and Hooker, and Smith, and Sedgwick, and Franklin, and McCall — Hancock, and Davidson, and Meade, and Seymore, and Burns, and Sickles, and Sully, and Owens, and dead Wyman, and all the galaxy of brave leaders, won title to glorious honors. They tell me that the rebel Gen. Longstreet was wounded and two other Generals lay dead on the field, with long lines of rebel officers and hecatombs of men. Melancholy satisfaction for such dead as ours. The enemy was beaten again, thank God! beaten badly, driven back, slaughtered fearfully. The gunboats had at least a moral agency in the fight. It did not appear that their guns could do more than protect the left flank, which was much, and the enemy was shy of that point. But an officer of Gen. McCall's staff told me we lost twenty guns that day. “How?” “By the enemy in overwhelming masses marching up and taking them.” It was said Heintzelman's command captured twelve from the enemy, and a whole brigade of the enemy. I think the latter doubtful. Gen. Magruder was certainly not captured. Prisoners assure me Jackson was not hurt. Here is question. Better err on the safe side. I inquired and was not satisfied. Nobody knew. It was so reported. I can't take reports. War bulletins are not reliable. I saw about eight hundred prisoners; could not learn the whereabouts of the “brigade” said to have been captured by Heintzelman. Think it a false report, invented to keep up courage — which was not necessary, for the men, jaded as they were, noble fellows, cheered when summoned to battle, and swore to die game. Said I to a rebel officer: “Do your men respect Yankee fighters?” “Yes, sir; they surprise us.” Said I: “Others have broken and retired; the genuine Yankees of New-England have never faltered on the Chickahominy.” It is true; and Massachusetts mourns more dead soldiers, comparatively, than any State's quota in the Army of the Potomac. Tuesday, the first of July, was not a cheerful day. The prospect was not happy. The Prince de Joinville, always gay and active as a lad, and always where there was battle, had gone. The Count de Paris, heir to the Bourbon throne, and the Duke de Chartres, his brother, the two chivalric and devoted aids to Gen. McClellan, on whose courage, fidelity, intelligence, and activity he safely relied; who served with him to learn the art of war, suddenly, without previous warning, took passage on a gunboat and fluttered softly down the river. Why did they go? Two officers of the English army, who had accompanied Gen. McClellan to study the art of war, and who had intended to remain with the army until Richmond was ours, announced their intention to depart on the first boat. The Paymasters were advised to deposit their treasure on a gunboat. People looked gloomily. Ah! I forgot — correspondents at Fortress Monroe, deducing facts from their infertile imaginations, told you that when the army reached Malvern Hill, the river at that point was full of transports. Monday noon there was not one there, excepting a schooner laden with hay. Tuesday evening several steamers had arrived and a few forage-boats. But reason for yourselves. It was gloomy at headquarters. The troops were intrenching the hill and standing to arms. The enemy were reported massing their forces. We were preparing to repel them. At noon silence was broken by hostile cannon in the extreme front. As afternoon wore away, the bombardment increased. At five o'clock there was a battle, and the Aroostook was hurling shell into the woods. At about seven o'clock the firing was heavy, but it was confined to a narrow circle. Ayres was driving the enemy from his batteries. Our boat pushed from the landing. At dark we moved from Harrison's Landing, seven miles below. The army had not moved there; the trains had. Soon after we steamed into the channel, the bombardment grew heavier. The gunboats were thundering into the forests. When I left the prospect was cheerless. That night we met reenforcements. Before morning the army was strengthened. Pray God it was made strong enough to go to Richmond. People, you may still rely on Gen. McClellan, until further displays of capacity. His retreat was masterly. He carried all that army and all his trains successfully through one narrow road, while encompassed by enemies two-fold as strong as his army.
W. D. B.
A confederate narrative.1
The bloody checks which the Northern army, in its memorable advance up the Peninsula towards Richmond, had received at Williamsburgh and the Seven Pines, had taught Gen. McClellan the desperate character of the conflict, without which he could never hope to reach in triumph the capital of the confederate States. Accordingly, after the battle of the Seven Pines, his movements became exceedingly circumspect, and,