's brigade formed a second line, and the Irish brigade, a third.
How at five o'clock on the morning of June 1, 1862, Confederate skirmishers and cavalry appeared in front of Richardson
and were repulsed; how the Confederates
, later, came on in full force, approaching rapidly in columns of attack, supported by infantry in line of battle on either side, appearing determined to crush, by this signal onslaught, the devoted troops that withstood them; how the Federal
force sustained this shock as an immovable wall; how the indomitable Hooker
, supported by Birney
's brigade, attacking from the left with two regiments, pushed the Confederates
before him, and a final charge being ordered, they fled, abandoning their arms; and finally how a bayonet charge from the right, led by Gen. French
, completed the discomfiture of the Confederates
,—are well known to the country; the result of all this being that our lines were re-established in their position of the 30th.
If an opportunity presented itself of striking a decisive blow which would have given us the Confederate
capital, it was not seized.
The most trustworthy accounts make the loss on either side between five and six thousand.
Why the Sixth and Fifth Corps, mustering more than 30,000 men, were not brought from the north side of the river, has never been explained.
The former, at the time Sumner
crossed the river, lay upon his right; the first division at Gaines' Farm
Here was a hospital, in which were Confederate wounded, some of them severely injured, lying upon cots; others, whose condition was less serious, might be seen sitting about.
They were physically a splendid set of men, and seemed to bear their misfortunes and sufferings with admirable fortitude.
We recollect particularly one man who was wounded in the head, whom we saw lying upon the ground in the shadow of an old barn; he evidently suffered great pain, but not a groan escaped him; there was an occasional grating of the teeth, nothing more.
At this time, as earlier and later, from Union homes, boxes containing preserved fruit, salt fish, cakes, cheese, sometimes tobacco, and from country homes, perhaps, stockings and underwear, would reach some volunteer father, husband, brother, or son. Often, unfortunately, the contents would be spoiled by exposure during the inevitable delays in transporting them to the