that the enemy had left, and a white flag was shown from the works. With a company of the Fourth Georgia regiment I rode forward with one aid-de-camp (Lieutenant Sloan) and entered the works. A few men, who represented themselves left as hospital attendants, were the only persons there. The tents were left standing, cut, and I was informed a surgeon was left with the sick. I rode on and found him, and read his order, and directed him to remain with the sick, and he would not be considered a prisoner of war. By this time all the regiments on picket duty had marched up to the works. I rode along the lines, announced to them the enemy had left, and we were ordered to follow them down the Charles City road. General Wright had joined me, and he and the other Brigadiers were ordered to get ready to march at once, and move over to the Charles City road. General Mahone, who was on that road, was ordered to move down it, General Armistead to follow him, Generals Wright and Ransom to follow. Soon after Generals Wright and Ransom got their brigades in motion, a message was received from General Magruder, at Fair Oak Station, that the enemy were advancing on him in force, and asking me to support him with two brigades. Ransom's brigade was at once recalled, and I marched with it back to the Seven Pines. Wright's brigade was ordered back. The day was intensely hot, and this marching and countermarching exhausted the men. I met General Magruder, who insisted the enemy were advancing in great force, and he desired my assistance, asking me to form line of battle, left on railroad, and right at Seven Pines. I had commenced moving the troops into position, when I saw a line in my front, and inquiring what troops they were, was informed it was McLaws's division. At the same moment I received a despatch from General Lee, (whom I left at my late headquarters,) saying it was very important I should proceed at once down the Charles City road, and, if my assistance was not necessary to General Magruder, to move on. As the enemy had abandoned their works and retired, I could not conceive their attack was a serious one, but the demonstration was only to delay us, and, as General McLaws occupied the ground, I might leave, and sent a message to General Magruder, that, under my orders, I had decided it was not necessary for me to stay. I had halted General Wright near French's house, and I sent him orders to resume his march to the Charles City road. General Ransom was sent off in the same direction at once. In the mean time, Mahone and Armistead had advanced down the road. In the evening Ransom and Wright followed. I reached the head of the column late in the afternoon, near Bridewell's, (on map,) when our flankers, on the left, were fired on by the enemy. We pushed light troops into the woods, and examined the country. It appeared the enemy had not retired from the camps on our left, and, as I went down the road, I was leaving Kearney's division behind me. I was informed there was a road, called the New road, running along the edge of White Oak Swamp, and that Kearney's division was on the other side of the swamp. A boy, who had been over the swamp on a message, and prisoners captured, gave me this information. I ordered a battery of artillery, supported by the Forty-fourth Alabama regiment, to protect the junction of the New road with the Charles City road, and directed Brigadier-General Wright to proceed at daylight, June thirtieth, down the New road, to find the enemy, and guard our left flank, and the main body to proceed down the Charles City road. The troops bivouacked in their position while it was dark, and resumed the march at daylight. Mahone advanced cautiously, captured many prisoners, and killed some cavalry scouts, one bearing an order to Kearney to retire, and keep a strong battery of artillery with his rear guard. After passing Fisher's house (map) we found the road obstructed by trees felled all across it. General Mahone found it best to cut a road around the obstructions. For such work we were deficient in tools. The column was delayed while the work was going on, and it was evening before we got through, and drove off the workmen, who were still cutting down other trees. As we advanced through the woods, and came to an open field, on high ground, (P. Williams, on map,) a powerful battery of rifled guns opened on us. General Mahone disposed his troops, and advanced a battery of artillery, (Moorman's,) and a sharp artillery fire was kept up for some time. The enemy's fire was very severe, and we had many men killed and wounded. (List of casualties sent herewith.) I went to the front, and examined the position. I withdrew most of our guns, and only kept up a moderate fire. On our left the White Oak Swamp approached very near; the right appeared to be good ground; and I determined to turn the battery by moving a column of infantry to my right. It was now dark. I issued the following order for the morning: “Orders.--Armistead's and Wright's brigades to move to the right; Mahone to push pickets forward, and move on as soon as the road was clear; Ransom to follow.” My headquarters, Monday night, was at Mrs. Fisher's. Wright reported the camps on White Oak Swamp abandoned. He went on to White Oak Bridge, where he met General Jackson, who informed me he was stopped at that point by the destruction of the bridge. General Wright, having only infantry, crossed the swamp, and joined me at Mrs. Fisher's, Monday evening, thirtieth of June. Tuesday, July first, at three A. M., I saw Armistead, with his brigade, ready to move, but, passing through the woods, the progress was slow. As soon as he cleared the road, Wright followed. I now received notice from General Longstreet that the Charles City road was clear, and was much disappointed that General Mahone had not discovered the retreat during the night. He informed me he saw the pickets this morning, which was true; for, on advancing, the pickets gave themselves up as prisoners, and said the array had retired without ordering them in. I now pushed on as rapidly as I could with
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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