Incidents of the battle of Fair Oaks.
Adjutant Oliver Edwards
returned to his home in this city on Wednesday morning, having been granted a furlough from General Couch
's staff on account of ill-health.
He has revived rapidly since leaving Virginia
, and hopes to return in season for the next battle.
left the Federal
camp near Fair Oaks
early on Monday morning.
The men of the Tenth Massachusetts in camp are generally well, and every one who is able to lift a finger thirsts eagerly for another fight.
They are now held as a reserve under Lieutenant-Colonel Decker
Last Sunday afternoon they had a skirmish with the rebels, in which thirty of our men were killed and wounded.
They are at the extreme left of our lines, in a very important position, and occupy intrenchments and rifle-pits.
Their rations are rather scanty, but growing better, as there is now easy transportation to the White House
by water, and from thence by rail to Fair Oaks
, seven miles from Richmond
On the Saturday and Sunday of the great battle, the Tenth regiment was wholly without food for thirty-six hours, and it proves their pluck and hardihood to be able to fight unflinchingly so long upon empty stomachs.
The reason given for the surprise of General Casey
's division on Saturday is, that it was stationed so near the enemy's main body that our pickets could not be thrown out far in advance, and the sudden dash of the rebels could not, therefore, be foreseen or fully prepared for. On the first day the entire Union army numbered only thirty thousand men, while the rebels had at least seventy-five thousand; and on the second day, when our reinforcements had come up, we were still inferior in numbers, having only fifty thousand to the enemy's seventy-five thousand.
The killed and wounded were far more numerous on the rebel side than ours, and must reach twelve or fifteen thousand, while the Federal
loss was not far from six thousand.
Our artillery was admirably served, and cut through the rebel ranks like a keen scythe through grass.
But they fought well, with dash and determination, and could not have been beaten by any troops upon earth excepting their Northern brethren.
During the entire battle no stragglers at all from the Union
tanks were to be seen on the field.
Every man stood up to his deadly duties as he would to an ordinary day's work.
Most of those who fell dead were in some attitude of loading or firing; their brains were so intent on their business that the muscles became rigid in the very posture in which the men were struck down.
witnessed the bloodiest part of the battle.
lie had a horse shot under him, and his clothes were pierced by rebel bullets, as were those of several other staff-officers.
The happiest moment of the whole campaign was when he met Gen. Sumner
's division approaching from the Chickahominy
, and hurried them to the scene of action upon the double-quick.
was within twenty-five feet of the rebel General Pettigrew
when he was wounded and fell into our hands as a prisoner.
The following incidents are some of the many striking ones that occurred in this two days engagement: A member of the Tenth regiment--name unknown — was surrounded by four rebels, who ordered him to surrender.
He coolly replied that “He rather guessed not;” and immediately shot one, bayoneted two, and broke the skull of the last one with the butt of his musket.
This certainly seems Munchausenish.
, of the One Hundred and Second Pennsylvania regiment, having been taken prisoner by a party of six rebels who were carrying a wounded officer to the rear, very politely offered to pilot them through the bushes, and carefully brought them round among our own pickets.
The summons, “Who comes there?”
was answered by the Captain
: “A friend, with seven prisoners.”
Six men belonging to the Sixty-second New-York regiment, (Anderson Zouaves,) several of whom were recruited in this city, hid themselves on Saturday in their own camp, under some bushes, and laid perfectly quiet all night, undiscovered by the rebel troops, who had taken the camp.
Next day, when our forces drove the rebels out with great slaughter, the cunning Zouaves turned up all right, and captured seven of the enemy as prisoners.--Springfield Republican