of the Third and Fourth army corps, under my command during the engagements of the thirty-first of May and first of June. On the twenty-fifth of May, Gen. Keyes's corps was placed under my command. He was directed to advance to the Seven Pines, on the Williamsburgh stage-road, about seven miles from the city of Richmond. My corps was ordered to cross the Chickahominy at Bottom's Bridge and occupy the position, two miles in advance of it, marked A and B on the accompanying map, and to watch the crossings of the White Oak swamp, with the woods beyond covering our left flank and rear. On that day I crossed the river and occupied the positions indicated. Gen. Keyes's corps advanced. The next day a reconnaissance having been ordered, I rode forward a mile beyond the Seven Pines, and had the positions examined to the front and right. Gen. Casey's division was located a short distance back of the Seven Pines. He selected a position in front of the Seven Pines, at which to throw up some defensive works. At his request, I let him move forward and occupy the ground. He did so, and immediately commenced strengthening it with rifle-pits and abattis. The engineers now made a more thorough examination, and it was decided to hold a position about three fourths of a mile in advance, as it covered a cross-road leading from the Seven Pines toward the “Old Tavern,” the latter strongly occupied by the enemy. Gen. Casey moved his division forward, and work was commenced on this new position. It progressed but slowly, however, on account of the incessant rains. This was on the twenty-ninth; on that day there was a sharp skirmish. Major Kelley, New-York volunteers, killed, and two privates wounded. On the thirtieth, our pickets and the enemy's were again engaged. In the afternoon we had a heavy thunder-storm with torrents of rain, continuing till late in the night and putting a stop to all work. On the next day, the thirty-first, the forenoon was quiet. At about one o'clock P. M. I first heard firing — more than there had been for several days. I sent Lieuts. Hunt and Johnson, two of my Aids, to the front, to learn what it was. At two o'clock P. M. I received a note from Lieut. Jackson, of Gen. Keyes's staff, informing me that the enemy was pressing them very hard, especially on the railroad, and asking me to send two brigades, if I had them at hand to spare. On this, I sent orders for a brigade to advance up the railroad as a support. The one selected by Gen. Kearny was Gen. Birney's brigade. Previous to this, I had received instructions from the Commanding General to hold the Seven Pines at all hazards, but not to move the troops guarding the approaches of Bottom's Bridge and the crossing of the White Oak swamp, unless it became absolutely necessary to hold the position in front at the Seven Pines. Believing the position in front of the Seven Pines to be a critical one, and not having entire confidence in the new troops composing the division of Gen. Casey, I sought and obtained permission on Friday afternoon to advance a portion of my corps from its position near Bottom's Bridge. The order was to make such disposition of the troops of my corps as I saw fit. I immediately ordered two brigades of Kearny's division to move forward on the Williamsburgh stage-road, and encamp about three quarters of a mile in advance of Savage's station. Lieuts. Hunt and Johnson returned about half-past 2 P. M., having seen Gen. Keyes, by whom they were directed to report that his front line, which was Gen. Casey's division, was being driven in; the road from the front was at this time filled with fugitives. I mounted my horse and rode briskly to the front. At the corner of the field, not a third of a mile from my headquarters, I met the fugitives from the battle-field increasing in numbers as I advanced. I had already given orders for all the available troops to advance to support those in front, as well as sent an officer to communicate with Gen. Sumner and request his assistance. This officer met a staff-officer sent by Gen. Sumner to offer me assistance. On reaching the front, I met our troops fiercely engaged with the enemy near the Seven Pines, having lost the first position, three fourths of a mile in advance. Gen. Keyes was there, and from him I learned the position of affairs. Our reenforcements soon began to arrive. Gen. Berry's brigade was sent into the woods on our left and ordered to outflank the enemy, who occupied in force Gen. Casey's camps, and had a battery of artillery near a large wood-pile in rear of the unfinished redoubt. This position Gen. Berry held till dark, when Gen. Jameson's brigade came up, the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania having gone up the railroad from Savage's station, as the main road was full of fugitives. I directed him to send a regiment to the right to support Gen. Peck. He sent the Eighty-seventh New-York, Col. Dodge. The other two regiments, Sixty-third and One Hundred and Fifth Pennsylvania, went to the left through the woods, and were deployed, by Gen. Kearny's order, across the Williamsburgh road, and they gallantly drove the enemy out of the abattis and rifle-pits, holding their position for an hour and a half. This brought the time to about five o'clock, at which hour the enemy received a reenforcement of a division, and began to drive our troops out of the woods on the right of the road. The fire had increased so much that I went to the left to order two of Gen. Peck's regiments, from where they were guarding a road leading to the White Oak swamp, to support this line. I met them coming, having been ordered across by Gen. Keyes. They went into the woods, but, together with the troops already there, were driven out by the overwhelming masses of the enemy. Gen. Jameson rode across to rally them, but was met by a volley from the enemy. His horse fell with three balls in him. In falling, the General's leg was caught under the animal, when some men of the Sixty-third Pennsylvania came and lifted the horse off, and helped the General
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