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About sundown, Sunday, General Magruder's division came up with the rear of the enemy, and engaged a portion of his forces for about an hour and a half. After passing the enemy's camp on the York River Railroad, our troops pushed after the enemy, and came up with him on the Williamsburgh road, a mile east of the Seven Pines, opposite Mr. William Sedgwick's farm. The enemy were posted in a thick piece of pines north of the Williamsburgh road, behind intrenchments of great strength and elaborate finish. The Richmond howitzer battalion began the fight by shelling the woods. From the direction of the railroad Kershaw's brigade and other troops marched down the Williamsburgh road, and dashed into the woods by a flank movement to the left. Here the fight raged furiously until darkness put an end to the contest. Our men laid on their arms with the design of renewing the battle with the return of daylight.

While Magruder was thus successfully “pushing the enemy to the wall” on the south side of the Chickahominy, the redoubtable Stuart was not less successful on the north side. Dashing down to the White House on the Pamunkey, he succeeded in capturing an immense quantity of supplies, fixed ammunition, rifled ordnance, railway machinery and locomotives, wagon-trains, a balloon and its apparatus of inflation, quartermaster's stores, etc., with one thousand five hundred prisoners, besides burning seventeen large transports at the wharves.

During the day the mortifying fact became known to our generals that McClellan had in measure succeeded in eluding us, and that, having massed his entire force on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy, he was retreating toward the James River — having stolen a march of twelve hours on Gen. Huger, who had been placed in a position on his flank to watch his movements.

The battle of Monday, June 30.

By daybreak on Monday morning the pursuit was actively resumed. D. H. Hill. Whiting and Ewell, under command of Jackson, crossed the Chickahominy by the Grapevine bridge, and followed lowed the enemy on their track by the Williamsburgh road and Savage station. Longstreet, A. P. Hill, Huger and Magruder pursued the enemy by the Charles City road, with the intention of cutting them off. At the White Oak swamp our left wing came upon the Yankee forces at about eleven o'clock A. M. But they had crossed the stream, and burned the bridge behind them. Their artillery was also posted in immense numbers, commanding both the bridge and the road. Gen. Jackson, with Major Crutchfield, chief of his artillery, and the several captains of D. H. Hill's artillery, having reconnoitred the position of the enemy, ordered forward the whole of D. H. Hill's artillery, under Col. Crutchfield.

Under cover of the hill on the left, or north bank of the White Oak swamp, our artillery was brought forward, thrown rapidly upon the crest of the hill, and suddenly opened fire upon the enemy's batteries, with twenty-six field-pieces in seven batteries. This was at about twelve o'clock M. A tremendous fire was kept up from the batteries on both sides, the enemy having in position near fifty pieces. During this time one or more of the enemy's caissons was exploded while they suffered with a heavy loss of men and horses. The enemy then fell back some distance behind a skirt of woods, abandoning three of their guns on the field, and there, hidden from sight, renewed the fight at long range, which, with their Parrott guns, gave them great advantage. The fight of artillery, nevertheless, continued with great spirit and determination until night closed the scene. The casualties on both sides in this fight were very heavy. Indeed, this is said to have been probably the heaviest fight of field artillery which has taken place during the war.

About four o'clock Monday afternoon, General Longstreet having been called away, the command of his division was assumed by General A. P. Hill, who, with both divisions — that of Longstreet and his own — engaged the enemy at a late hour in the evening. The battle was thus fought under the immediate and sole command of Gen. A. P. Hill, in charge of both divisions. The position of the enemy was about five miles northeast of Darbytown, on the New-Market road. The immediate scene of the battle was a plain of sedge lines, in the cover of which the enemy's forces were skilfully disposed.

In advancing upon the enemy, batteries of sixteen heavy guns were opened upon the advance columns of Gen. Hill. Our troops, pressing heroically forward, had no sooner got within musketrange, than the enemy, forming several lines of battle, poured upon them from his heavy masses a devouring fire of musketry. The conflict became terrible, the air being filled with missiles of death; every moment having its peculiar sound of terror, and every spot its sight of ghastly destruction and horror. Never was a more glorious victory plucked from more desperate and threatening circumstances. While exposed to the double fire of the enemy's batteries and his musketry, we were unable to contend with him with artillery. But, although thus unmatched, the heroic command of Gen. Hill pressed on with unquailing vigor and a resistless courage, driving the enemy before them. This was accomplished without artillery, there being but one battery in Gen. Hill's command on the spot, and that belonged to Longstreet's division, and could not be got into position.

Thus the fight continued with an ardor and devotion that few battle-fields have ever illustrated. Step by step the enemy were driven back, his guns taken, and the ground he abandoned strewn with his dead. By half-past 8 o'clock we had taken all his cannon, and, continuing to advance, had driven him a mile and a half from his ground of battle. Our forces were still advancing upon the retreating lines of the enemy. It was now about half-past 9 o'clock, and very dark. Suddenly, as if it had burst from the heavens, a sheet of fire enveloped the front of our advance. The enemy had made another stand

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A. P. Hill (6)
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