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Malvern Hill. Recollections of the fight by one who was there. [extracts from official Federal and Confederate Records.]

As a Confederate soldier, a member of one of the regiments of General William Mahone's brigade of Virginians, I was present with a musket in my hand in nearly a score of the principal engagements between the Army of Northern Virginia and its opponent, the Army of the Potomac, but of all these I remember no engagement which, in its dramatic incidents, came up to my preconceived idea of a battle as did that of Malvern Hill, Fought in an open field, with desperate valor on both sides, the combatants in full view of each other, except when the smoke of battle or the darkness of night enshrouded them, the struggle of the contending forces, the one attacking, the other repelling, presented a scene never to be forgotten by those who were present. To give some account of this memorable conflict, recalling its well-remembered features to many ex-soldiers, is the object of this article. From the official reports of prominent Federal and Confederate officers, not readily accessible to the general reader, striking passages descriptive of the battle—and these reports singularly abound in such passages—will be taken, and the writer will give his own personal recollections of the engagement as he now, after a lapse of a quarter of a century, vividly remembers it almost distinctly as if it were an occurrence of yesterday.1 In view of the fact that its twenty-fifth anniversary has but recently passed a sketch of the battle so prepared, it is believed, will interest the readers of your journal.

On the afternoon of July 1, 1862, the Federal army, under General George B. McClellen, occupied the hill and plateau upon which stood some dwellings and other buildings erected upon a part of the land belonging to the old Virginia country-seat situated in the county of Henrico, some fourteen miles below Richmond, known during and since colonial time as ‘Malvern Hill.’ The Confederate army, under


1 See ‘The War of the Rebellion,’ published pursuant to act of Congress, approved June 16, 1880, series 1, vol. XI, part II, for the several reports here referred to.

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