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[182]

General Johnston's report of battle of Seven Pines

The following is the official report of General Johnston of the battle designated by the Confederates as Seven Pines and by the Federals, Fair Oaks. It was dated Richmond, June 24, 1862.

General S. Cooper, Adjutant and Inspector-General: Sir: Before the 30th of May I had ascertained from trusty scouts that Keyes's corps was encamped on this side of the Chickahominy, near the Williamsburg road. On that day Major-General D. H. Hill reported a strong body immediately in his front. On receiving this report, I determined to attack him next morning—hoping to be able to defeat Keyes's corps completely in its more advanced position before it could be reinforced. Written orders were dispatched to Major Generals Hill, Huger and G. W. Smith. General Longstreet being near my headquarters, received verbal instructions. The receipt of orders were acknowledged.

General Hill, supported by the division of General Longstreet (who had the direction of operations on the right), was to advance by the Williamsburg road to attack the enemy in front. General Huger, with his division, was to go down the Charles City road in order to attack in flank the troops who might be engaged with Hill and Longstreet, unless he found in his front force enough to occupy his division. General Smith was to march to the junction of the New-Bridge road and the Nine-Mile road to be in readiness either to fall on Keyes's right flank, or to cover Longstreet's left. They were to move at daybreak. Heavy and protracted rains during the afternoon and night by swelling the streams of the Chickahominy increased the probability of our having to deal with no other troops than those of Keyes. The same cause prevented the prompt and punctual movement of the troops. Those of Smith, Hill, and Longstreet were in position early enough, however, to commence operations by 8 o'clock A. M.

Major-General Longstreet, unwilling to make a partial attack, instead of the combined movement which had been planned, waited from hour to hour for General Huger's division. At length at 2 o'clock P. M. he determined to attack without those troops. He accordingly commenced his advance at that hour, opening the engagement


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Longstreet (6)
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