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“ [250] McCall's position, from which he had been driven by superior numbers.”

Previously to this, however, I had, on receiving the official copy of General McClellan's report, written to General Heintzelman, to ask whether this term “deserted,” had also been derived from his report. Heintzelman disclaimed the authorship, and sent me a printed copy of his report of the battle.

In this report he says: “Seeing that the enemy were giving way, (this refers to their sudden repulse by Sumner and Hooker, upon whom they unexpectedly came while following Seymour,) I returned to the forks of the (Charles City) road, where later in the day I received a call from General Kearny for aid. Knowing that all General Sedgwick's troops were unavailable, I was glad to avail myself of the kind offer of General Slocum to send the New-Jersey brigade of his division to General Kearny's aid. I rode out far enough on the Charles City road to see that we had nothing to fear from that direction, and returned to see the New-Jersey brigade enter the woods to General Kearny's relief. A battery accompanied this brigade. They soon drove back the enemy. It was now growing dark.” On comparing Heintzelnan's statement just given with that of McClellan given above, it is evident that the latter is a transcript of the former, in part. I would that I might, for General McClellan's credit, say a transcript entire and correct. But I am constrained to say that it is incomprehensible how General McClellan could have happened to substitute General McCall's position for General Kearny's position.

Having written to General Heintzelman on this subject, he replied to me in a letter dated Columbus, Ohio, March twenty-fourth, 1864, as follows: “I had some discussion with General Kearny, some time after, he saying that he never asked for reinforcements, though when I recalled what had occurred, he acknowledged that the message he had sent virtually amounted to that. Whether Kearny's division, or any part, was driven back, or if so, how far, I cannot now remember.” From the foregoing it is seen that the First New-Jersey brigade, under General Taylor (Kearny's old brigade) was offered by Slocum for Kearny's support, and reported by Heintzelman to have entered the woods to Kearny's relief, under his own eye. It is therefore incontrovertible that General McClellan's report in this connection is not in accordance with facts.

There is still one more remark of General McClellan's that requires my notice. In his letter to the President, dated “Harrison's bar, James River, July fourth, 1862,” (his report, page 142,) he asserts: “We have lost no guns, except twenty-five on the field of battle, twenty-one of which were lost by the giving way of McCall's division under the onset of superior numbers.”

The General should have been a little more careful what he wrote to Mr. Lincoln, or perhaps a little more cautious what he published. By turning to page 127 of his report, it will be seen that in the account of the battle of Gaines's Mills he makes this statement: “The number of guns captured by the enemy at this battle was twenty-two, three of which were lost by being run off the bridge during the final withdrawal.”

The number of guns, then, lost by McClellan in this battle was nineteen. Soon after I read the letter to Mr. Lincoln above quoted, I wrote to General William F. Barry, General McClellan's chief of artillery during the Peninsula campaign, requesting him to refer to his reports and to inform me how many guns he had reported lost by my division at Gaines's Mills, and received the following reply:

Washington, March 10, 1864.
My dear General: Your note of seventh instant is just received, and finds me on the eve of departure for the South-west, whither I am ordered for duty with General Grant's armies. I regret extremely that my papers relating to the Peninsula campaign are all packed up, and have been sent away, and that I have no better reference than my memory to enable me to answer your queries. I can, however, state in general terms that the guns lost by field batteries belonging to your division were but a very small portion of the whole number lost at Gaines's Mills.

Faithfully yours,


With respect to the guns lost at Nelson's farm or New-Market Cross-Roads, it is a fact well known that after Randall's battery was taken by the enemy and retaken by the reserves, (see Colonel Bollinger's report,) the guns could not be removed for want of horses, forty odd of those belonging to the battery lying dead on the ground; and I am authorized to say that Randall applied to General Heintzelman, after nightfall, for men to drag his guns off the ground, but was refused by that officer on the plea that “it would bring on a renewal of the battle.” For instance, General Meade says to me in a letter dated Headquarters, Army of the Potomac, March second, 1864:

I have always maintained that these guns (Randall's battery) were not lost by the division, but were abandoned by the army.

It is notorious that they remained all night in their original position on the field, outside the line of the enemy's pickets, the enemy having withdrawn from the field after dark, and not returning till eight o'clock the next day, when their skirmishers advanced in order of battle, and finding these guns, took possession of them. I have this from Randall, who, being aware of it at the time, applied to Kearny, and, I think, to Heintzelman, for authority and men to drag his guns off, but was refused on the ground it would bring on a renewal of the battle; and at one o'clock the division with the army moved on to Malvern Hill. When I say I had it from Randall, I mean the fact that the enemy did not take possession of them (the guns) the evening of the battle, but fell back and left them for us to drag off if we chose. The fact that they took possession of them the next morning, about eight o'clock, I got from Doctor Collins, Third regiment,


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