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[361] mined the authorities at Old Point to put a stop to it, and clear us out from Bethel. This determination was conveyed to us from persons who came from the neighborhood of the enemy. On Monday morning 600 infantry and two guns, under General Magruder, left the camp and proceeded towards Hampton, but after advancing a mile or two, received information that the Yankees were coming in large force. We then retired, and after reaching camp the guns were placed in battery and the infantry took their places behind their breastwork. Everybody was cool, and all were anxious to give the invaders a good reception. About 9 o'clock the glittering bayonets of the enemy appeared on the. hill opposite, and above them waved the Star-Spangled Banner. The moment the head of the column advanced far enough to show one or two companies, the Parrott gun of the Howitzer Battery opened on them, throwing a shell right into their midst. Their ranks broke in confusion, and the column, or as much of it as we could see, retreated behind two small farm-houses. From their position a fire was opened on us, which was replied to by our battery, which commanded the route of their approach. Our firing was excellent, and the shells scattered in all directions when they burst. They could hardly approach the guns which they were firing for the shells which came from our battery. Within our encampment fell a perfect hail-storm of canister-shot, bullets, and balls. Remarkable to say, not one of our men was killed inside of our encampment. Several horses were slain by the shells and bullets. Finding that bombardment would not answer, the enemy, about 11 o'clock, tried to carry the position by assault, but met a terrible repulse at the hands of the infantry as he tried to scale the breastworks. The men disregarded sometimes the defences erected for them, and, leaping on the embankment, stood and fired at the Yankees, cutting them down as they came up. One company of the New York 7th Regiment, under Capt. Winthrop, attempted to take the redoubt on the left. The marsh they crossed was strewn with their bodies. Their captain, a fine-looking man, reached the fence, and, leaping on a log, waved his sword, crying, “Come on, boys; one charge, and the day is ours.” The words were his last, for a Carolina rifle ended his life the next moment, and his men fled in terror back. At the redoubt on the right, a company of about three hundred New York Zouaves charged one of our guns, but could not stand the fire of the infantry, and retreated precipitately. During these charges the main body of the enemy on the hill were attempting to concentrate for a general assault, but the shells from the Howitzer Battery prevented them. As one regiment would give up the effort, another would be marched to the position, but with no better success, for a shell would scatter them like chaff. The men did not seem able to stand fire at all. About one o'clock their guns were silenced, and a few moments after, their infantry retreated precipitately down the road to Hampton. Our cavalry, numbering three companies, went in pursuit, and harassed them down to the edge of Hampton. As they retreated many of the wounded fell along the road and died, and the whole road to Hampton was strewn with haversacks, over. coats, canteens, muskets, &c., which the men had thrown off in their retreat. After the battle, I visited the position they held. The houses behind which they had been hid had been burnt by our troops. Around the yard were the dead bodies of the men who had been killed by our cannon, mangled in the most frightful manner by the shells. The uniforms on the bodies were very different, and many of them are like those of the Virginia soldiery. A little further on we came to the point to which they had carried some of their wounded, who had since died. The gay-looking uniforms of the New York Zouaves contrasted greatly with the paled, fixed faces of their dead owners. Going to the swamp through which they attempted to pass to assault our lines, presented another bloody scene. Bodies dotted the black morass from one end to the other. I saw one boyish, delicate-looking fellow lying on the mud, with a bullet-hole through his breast. His hand was pressed on the wound from which his life blood had poured, and the other was clenched in the grass that grew near him. Lying on the ground was a Testament which had fallen from his pocket, dabbed with blood. On opening the cover I found the printed inscription: “Presented to the Defenders of their Country, by the New York Bible Society.” A United States flag was also stamped on the title-page. Among the haversacks picked up along the route were many letters from the Northern States, asking if they liked the Southern farms, and if the Southern barbarians had been whipped out yet. The force of the enemy brought against us was 4,000, according, to the statement of the six prisoners we took. Ours was 1,100. Their loss in killed and wounded must be nearly 200. Our loss is one killed and three wounded. The fatal case was that of a North Carolinian who volunteered to fire one of the houses behind which they were stationed. He started from the breastwork to accomplish it, but was shot in the head. He died this morning in the hospital. The wounded are Harry Shook, of Richmond, of Brown's battery, shot in the wrist; John Werth, of Richmond, of the same battery, shot in the leg, and Lieut. Hudnall, of the same battery, shot in the foot. None of the wounds are serious. The Louisiana Regiment arrived about one hour after the fight was over. They are a fine-looking set of fellows. As there was force enough at Old Point to send up to Bethel and surround us, we took up the line of march, and came up to Yorktown, where we now are. I hear to-day that troops from Old Point are now marching up to attack us, but cannot say whether it is so or not.


--Richmond Despatch, (Extra,) June 12.

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