at once directed my Chief of Artillery, Colonel Deshler, to proceed to the point indicated, some two miles down the River road, with three sections of two rifled guns each, selected from the different batteries, and despatched the Thirtieth Virginia, Colonel Harrison commanding, to Walker's brigade, as a supporting force. Soon afterward, feeling solicitous for the safety of this detachment, I put the remainder of the division in motion for the same point, and proceeded to reconnoitre the ground in person. Upon reaching it, I found the general commanding the army just returning from an observation of the enemy's position. He approved of what had been done, and directed that, after the remainder of the division had been disposed to support the batteries, fire should be opened upon the enemy's column. By the time the infantry was in position, the enemy had taken the alarm, and was drawn up in line of battle in the road between West's House and Malvern Hill, on very commanding ground. Before the fire of my artillery commenced, the enemy's gunboats began to shell vigorously the River road, clearly defined by clouds of dust, and the woods occupied by my troops. Colonel Deshler now opened his fire, upon my order, and three or four regiments of the enemy's infantry, within range, immnediately disappeared in the neighboring woods. A very heavy fire of field artillery was, however, at once brought to bear upon us from some twenty-five or thirty guns, so placed as, with the aid of the gunboats, to annoy us severely in front and on both flanks at the same time. Finding himself overrated in metal, and the ground not admitting of more guns being put in battery on our side, Colonel Deshler ceased his fire in about an hour, after losing a considerable number of men and horses, and having two caissons exploded. The enemy kept up a furious cannonade until after dark. Under this, my troops, which were mostly newly levied, behaved well, with the exception of Major E. Burroughs's battalion of cavalry, and Graham's battery, with a part of Branch's, whose conduct was shameful in the extreme. The officers of my staff--Colonel James Deshler, Chief of Artillery, Major Archer Anderson, A. A. G., Captain T. L. Barton, Acting Chief Commissary, and Cadet T. H. Holmes, Jr., C S. A.--performed their duty with the greatest zeal and intelligence, and behaved as brave men should do. In this engagement the casualties were — as appears by the reports of brigade commanders, herewith transmitted — as follows: Daniels's brigade — killed, 2; wounded, 822. Walker's brigade — wounded, 12. Artillery — wounded, 15. The strength of the enemy's position, and their imposing numbers, were such that to attempt an attack upon them with my small force, unsupported, would have been perfect madness; for to have done this, would have required a march of over three quarters of a mile up a steep hill, destitute of cover. I accordingly withdrew, about nine P. M., to a position somewhat in advance of that occupied in the morning. On Tuesday evening I moved my division to a point on the River road, half a mile below the upper gate, at Curl's Neck, and there remained during the night in line of battle; but, as before, I deemed it out of the question to attack the strong position of Malvern Hill from that side with my inadequate force. On Wednesday afternoon, in pursuance of orders from the commanding General, I took up my line of march for Drewry's Bluff, leaving General Wise at Chaffin's. Since then, nothing of interest has occurred in my command. I am, Colonel, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
T. H. Holmes, Major-General Commanding D. N. C.
General Whiting's reports.
headquarters First division, First corps, July, 1862.Colonel: The following is a report of the operations of this division in the battle of Gaines's Farm, twenty-seventh ultimo: On the morning of the twenty-sixth ultimo, at three A. M., the division, consisting of the Texas brigade, Brigadier-General Hood, and the third brigade, Colonel Law, with Reilly's and Balthis's batteries, marched from Ashland as the advance of Major-General Jackson's corps, which it had temporarily reenforced. After passing the advanced line of videttes, the march was conducted cautiously by the Ashcake road, the Texans leading, with skirmishers deployed. At ten A. M., crossed the Central Railroad, driving the enemy's cavalry scouts, discovered an advanced post of cavalry west of the Tottopotomy, which fled on my approach. At three, reached the creek, found the bridge in flames, and a party of the enemy engaged in blockading the road on the other side. The Texan skirmishers gallantly crossed and engaged. Ripley's battery, being brought up, with a few rounds dispersed the enemy. The bridge being rebuilt, the troops crossed, and continued on the road to Pale Green Church or Hundley Corner. Here we united with Ewell's division, and, night coming on, bivouacked. A furious cannonade in the direction of Mechanicsville indicated a severe battle. Early the next morning the troops moved — Ewell in the lead. Prisoners were taken in great numbers as we advanced. Heavy musketry and cannonading being heard on our right, Major Whiting, of the staff, taking a battery, posted it so as to shell the enemy's rear on Beaver Dam; after which they retired, leaving the route clear for all the columns. We crossed the run without opposition. At twelve A. M., having made a circuit, and headed Beaver Dam, the column of Major-General D. H. Hill appeared on the road leading to Cold Harbor, to which we had been directed, and passed us. Between one and two P. M., cannonading commenced in the direction of Cold Harbor. The march continued slowly, interrupted by frequent halts, until near three, when an aid of General Jackson directed me to form
Colonel R. H. Chilton, Assistant Adjutant-General:
Colonel R. H. Chilton, Assistant Adjutant-General: