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[281]

Regulars who arrived too late at Fair Oaks.

One can well imagine the feelings of the men and officers of these companies of the United States Artillery-Companies C, G, B and L of the reserve, who on the 31st of May could hear the battle raging on the south side of the flooded Chickahominy. The presence of regular troops in the early part of the war always steadied the volunteers. No men were so eager to bring their guns into action as these cannoneers. In the lower picture, to the left, we see part of Captain Robertson's batteries, Companies B and L, drawn up in a cornfield. Before the battle of Fair Oaks he had been attached to General Stoneman's column operating most of the time in the vicinity of New Bridge, where the Artillery Reserve Camp was at length established. To the right we see Batteries C and G (Gibson's) of the Third United States Artillery ready for action which was not renewed. McClellan's fatal pause had just begun, and here the artillery men so much needed during the two days fighting are standing idly by, where they had been robbed by the river of the anticipated chance to distinguish themselves and with no further compensation for their disappointment than the diversion of having their pictures taken. Weeks of waiting were to follow before these batteries were to be again needed to do their share in holding back Lee's forces during their advance in the Seven Days battles. Robertson's guns were in the thick of it at Gaines' Mill and the captain was complimented by General Porter for that day's work.

Captain Gibson and officers of the battery that bore his name the belated batteries

Robertson's Battery-Artillery Reserve

Gibson's Battery--Artillery Reserve


 

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