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[268] position, and having massed his forces, had succeeded, under the cover of the night, in opening a way to the James River.

Since this untoward event, the operations of our army on the Richmond side of the Chickahominy have been to follow the fugitive enemy through a country where he has had admirable opportunities of concealment, and through the swamps and forests of which he has retreated with a judgment, a dexterity and a spirit of fortitude which, however unavailing they may be to save his entire command, must challenge our admiration for his generalship.

The glory and fruits of our victory may have been seriously diminished by the grave mishap or fault by which the enemy was permitted to leave his camp on the south side of the Chickahominy, in an open country, and to plunge into the dense cover of wood and swamp, where the best portion of four or five days has been consumed in hunting him and finding out his new position, only in time to attack him under the uncertainty and disadvantage of the darkness of night. But in spite of delays and embarrassments which have already occurred in bringing the enemy to a decisive action, the successes of the week's engagements, as far as now known to us, are not to be lightly esteemed. We would not deprecate results already accomplished, because of errors which, if they had not occurred, would have made our victory more glorious and more complete. The siege of Richmond has been raised: an army of one hundred and twenty thousand men have been pushed from their strongholds and fortifications, and put to flight; we have enjoyed the éclat of an almost daily succession of victories, some of which have been achieved in circumstances in which the valor of our troops has alone redeemed us from the faults of military science; we have gathered an immense spoil, in which we are reported to have taken at least ten thousand prisoners, and from seventy to eighty pieces of artillery; and we have demoralized and dispersed, if we have not succeeded in annihilating, an army which had every resource that could be summoned to its assistance, every possible addition of numbers within the reach of the Yankee government, and every material condition of success to insure for it the result of the contest which it now abandons in dismay.

The dead on the field.

The different postures of the dead always strike a spectator as he passes over the battle-field. One lay on his back, with his arms stretched upward at length; another, with his head plunged into a pool of mud and water, having evidently died slaking his thirst; a third lay partly on the bank and partly in the water of a creek, having been shot in crossing, and died clutching the twigs and bushes on the opposite bank. One, shot through the head, had made himself a bed of leaves, and laid down, drawing his blanket and overcoat about him. His uniform and face betokened an officer of some rank. All of the above were of the Yankee slain.

During Tuesday night, those engaged in carrying the confederate wounded off the field could not use their lanterns, as every flicker from them was sure to draw the fire of the Yankees. . . . .

Nothing was to be found on this portion of the field but killed and wounded Yankees and their guns and knapsacks. A mute, and to Virginians a most interesting story, was told by these knapsacks. Upwards of three hundred of them belonged to the famous New-York Seventh regiment who were once so feasted and fondled in this city. If a remnant of them return to the Empire City, they may say with truth that on Virginia soil they were appropriately welcomed on the occasion of both their visits as friends and foes. [The Seventh regiment alluded to was not on the field.--Ed.]

Address of Jefferson Davis.

soldiers: I congratulate you on the series of brilliant victories, which under favor of Divine Providence you have lately won; and as the President of the confederate States, I do hereby tender you the thanks of the country whose just cause you have so skilfully and heroically saved.

Ten days ago, an invading army, vastly superior to you in numbers and materials of war, closely beleaguered your capital, and vauntingly proclaimed its speedy conquest.

You marched to attack the enemy in his intrenchments. With well — directed movements and death-daring valor, you charged upon him in his strong position, drove him from field to field over a distance of more than thirty-five miles, and spite of his reenforcements, compelled him to seek shelter under cover of his gunboats, where he now lies, cowering before the army he so lately derided and threatened with entire subjugation.

The fortitude with which you have borne the trials and privations, the gallantry with which you have entered into each successive battle, must have been witnessed to be fully appreciated, but a grateful people will not fail to recognize your deeds, and bear you in loved remembrance.

Well may it be said of you that you have done enough for glory; but duty to a suffering country and to the cause of constitutional liberty, claims for you yet further efforts. Let it be your pride to relax in nothing which can promote your own future efficiency, your own great object being to drive the invaders from your soil, carrying your standard beyond the outer boundaries of the Confederacy, to wring from an unscrupulous foe the recognition which is the birth-right of every independent community.

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