Kearny's men after the battle of Fair Oaks This photograph directly illustrates Stedman's poem. It is June, 1862. Men of Kearny's brigade, one seated, others standing and sitting by, are gathered before the Widow Allen's house, now used as a hospital after those bloody days, May 31st and June 1st—the battle of Fair Oaks or Seven Pines. McClellan had advanced up the Peninsula to within five miles of Richmond. About noon of May 31st the Confederate attack on the Union troops about Seven Pines threatened to become heavy, but the message for reinforcements did not reach the commanding officer in the rear till three o'clock. General Kearny was sent forward. He thus reports: ‘On arriving at the field of battle we found certain zigzag rifle-pits sheltering crowds of men, and the enemy firing from abatis and timber in their front. General Casey remarked to me on coming up, “If you will regain our late camp, the day will still be ours.” I had but the Third Michigan up, but they moved forward with alacrity, dashing into the felled timber, and commenced a desperate but determined contest, heedless of the shell and ball which rained upon them. . . . I directed General Berry [with the Fifth Michigan] to turn the slashings and, fighting, gain the open ground on the enemy's right flank. This was perfectly accomplished. The Thirty-seventh New York was arranged in column to support the attack. Its services in the sequel proved invaluable. In the meanwhile my remaining brigade, the One hundred and fifth and Sixty-third Pennsylvania, came up, under General Jameson. . . . Eight companies of the Sixty-third Pennsylvania, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan and most spiritedly headed by General Jameson, aided by his daring chief of staff, Captain Potter, were pushed through the abatis (the portions never until now occupied by us), and nobly repelled a strong body of the enemy, who, though in a strong line and coming up rapidly and in order, just failed to reach to support this position in time, but who, nothing daunted and with a courage worthy a united cause, halted in battle array and poured in a constant heavy roll of musketry fire.’
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