Skirmishing was kept up along this section of the road, the enemy readily yielding to our advance until we came to Bracket's field, where he was found in force, fortified by the advantages of a superior position, which it was deemed necessary to reconnoitre before pushing farther; and the propriety of this precaution, it may be well to remark, was fully sustained by subsequent actual examination of the ground he occupied. Meantime two pieces of Moorman's battery were put in position, and opened fire upon his lines, which was returned with great energy and effect. This continued until late at night. The loss of the brigade in this engagement was serious, considering that it was confined exclusively to the artillery, the conduct of whose officers and men deserves high commendation, and especially that of Captain Moorman, who directed the operation of his pieces, under a galling fire, with great vigor and self-possessed deliberation. He lost, in killed, one man; in wounded, a Lieutenant, two non-commissioned officers, and one private. The Forty-first Virginia, which suffered more severely than any other regiment, owing to its position as a supporting force to our battery, and where it behaved well, under the authority of the gallant Parham, lost, in killed, one officer and seventeen privates, and in wounded, eighteen privates. The Forty-ninth Virginia, occupying like relations to the battery, with the same commendable firmness, stimulated by the characteristic coolness of its fearless commander, Colonel William Smith, also suffered heavily under this fire, losing, in killed, two men, and twenty-eight wounded. The Sixth Virginia, which firmly maintained its place on the right of our front, lost, in killed, one commissioned officer, and two privates, and in wounded, two privates. When it was considered that this regiment suffered this entire loss from a terrific cannonading, (of short duration,) which it was impossible for them in any manner to return, their intrepidity cannot be too much admired. The next morning (Tuesday, July first) we took up our march along the Charles City road, and thence into the Quaker road, and, under the more immediate direction of the Major-General commanding, until reaching the scene of the engagement of that day, when, by his order, the brigade was reported to Major-General Magruder, by whom it was at once put into the battle of Malvern Hill, in connection with which its conduct and casualties are made the subject of a separate report. I am, Colonel, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
William Mahone, Brigadier-General.
Report of battle of June 25.
headquarters (in field) Second brigade, Va. Volunteers, Huger's division, July 10, 1862.Colonel: The importance given by Major-General McClellan, United States army, to the engagement which took place in French's field on Wednesday, the twenty-fifth June, between a portion of his forces and those of Major-General Huger's command, in front of our lines, on the Williamsburg road, makes it but just to the troops of this brigade that the part performed by them in that action should be recorded. It is apparent from the despatches of the Federal commander to his Government that he was present, in person, directing the attack, and that he looked to it as the beginning of a general demonstration upon our lines. The series of victories achieved by our army immediately subsequent may give to this day's proceedings still more consequence. This brigade, it will be remembered, occupied that portion of our front lines which covered the Charles City road, its passes and approaches; while that of Brigadier-General Wright held a like position on the Williamsburg road, immediately on my left. Early on the morning of the twenty-fifth of June it was discovered that the enemy were pressing with energy upon General Wright's front. Assistance from this brigade was immediately tendered; but in a short time General Wright, sustained by a portion of Brigadier-General Ransom's brigade, succeeded in driving him back over the ground he had so boldly presumed to occupy, and the firing had now ceased. With the view, however, of providing against a renewal of the attack by the enemy with an increased force, and any attempt which might be made to flank General Wright's position on the right of his line, where it appeared he was not sufficiently protected, a large portion of this brigade, with two pieces of Grimes's artillery, were brought up and placed in position, the former under ever of woods, and the latter masked. Soon after, skirmishing, with some severity, was renewed on General Wright's front, and in the afternoon a vigorous attempt was made to turn his flank where I had anticipated such effort would be made. For this, however, we were prepared; and a few well-directed shots from Grimes's pieces drove the enemy, with loss and confusion, from his position. But, in a few minutes, he returned to the conflict, under cover of a piece of artillery, which was placed in a position favorable to his contemplated advance. At this point of time, now late in the evening, Colonel Wills's regiment, of Ransom's brigade, moved forward in line of battle, supported on the left by Colonel Doles's regiment of Wright's brigade. The firing now became active and serious in its effects. Colonel Wills's regiment, having moved close upon the enemy in his concealed position, had suffered severely, and for a moment gave way. Their ground, however, was promptly occupied by the Twelfth and a battalion of the Sixth Virginia regiments, of this brigade. Meantime, Colonel Smith, of the Forty-ninth, whose regiment, with that of the Forty-first and the Second battalion of the Sixth Virginia, had been placed in a skirt of woods leading out on the enemy's left flank, most opportunely moved forward, and attacked him upon his rear and flank. Thus
Colonel S. S. Anderson, A. A. G. Huger's Division:
Colonel S. S. Anderson, A. A. G. Huger's Division: