support of Gen. Heintzelman
In the meantime Naglee
's brigade, reinforced by artillery under Col. Bailey
and by a part of Peck
's brigade, had been again forced back by overpowering numbers, and, after a gallant struggle, beyond the position in the morning of the troops commanded by Gen. Couch
, which was far in Naglee
's rear, and at this moment it was learned that a heavy column of Confederates was marching toward Fair Oaks station.
This column was engaged by Gen. Couch
with a portion of his division of Keyes
's corps, but he was obliged to fall back one half mile; here learning of Sumner
's approach, he at once formed a line facing Fair Oaks
and prepared to hold it. It was now five P. M.; brave, impetuous Kearney
now arrived before Seven Pines
, deployed a brigade to the left so as to have a flank fire upon the Confederate
lines, which retarded the pursuit in that direction, held the position until after dark, then, being separated by its movement from the main body, the brigade fell back, circuitously, the commander bringing the force in good order within the Federal
At six o'clock Gen. Sumner
reached Gen. Couch
's position, with Sedgwick
's division; before his arrival, Gen. Devens
, from the centre of Couch
's line, made gallant efforts to regain portions of the lost ground.
The road was so muddy that only one battery of Sedgwick
's division (Kirby
's) could be got in position; the First Minnesota being detailed for protection of the flank, the remaining infantry of the division was formed in line with the aforesaid battery in the centre.
Now a tremendous fire was opened by the Confederates
all along the line, and charges were made by them, though repulsed with heavy loss upon our side.
At length Gen. Sumner
ordered a charge, which was made with such vim and effectiveness that the opposing force was driven in disorder from his front.
It is said that it was at this moment that Gen. Joe Johnston
's other division now appeared upon the scene, but night brought cessation from further strife on this day.
During the night, Kearney
's, and a portion of Casey
's division were massed in the rifle-pits on the left, at Seven Pines
bivouacked in their rear.
remained relatively in the same position as at dark; all his artillery that could be moved was brought up, and Richardson
was placed on his left to connect with Kearney
's brigade was placed along the railroad.