previous next

[216] report he says: ‘I moved my division to a point on the River road half a mile below the upper gate of Curl's Neck and there remained during the night, in line of battle, but I deemed it out of the question to attack the strong position of Malvern Hill from that side with my inadequate force.’

In his official report of the battle, Longstreet said: ‘A little after 3 P. M. I understood that we would not be able to attack the enemy that day, inasmuch as his position was too strong to admit of it.’ Writing long years afterwards in the Century ,Magazine, he says: ‘As our guns in front did not engage, the result was the enemy concentrated the fire of fifty or sixty guns upon our isolated batteries and tore them into fragments in a few minutes after they opened, piling horses upon each other and guns upon horses. Before night the fire from our batteries failing of execution, General Lee seemed to abandon the idea of an attack. He proposed to me to move around to the left, with my own men and A. P. Hill's Division, turning the Federal right. I issued my orders accordingly for the two divisions to go around and turn the Federal right, when, in some way unknown to me, the battle was drawn on. We were repulsed at all points with fearful slaughter, losing 6,000 men and accomplishing nothing.’

Swinton, who refers to our army as ‘that incomparable body of men, the glorious infantry of the Army of Northern Virginia,’ says of Malvern Hill: ‘Lee never before or since that action delivered a battle so ill-judged in conception or so faulty in its details of execution.’

In referring to the Quaker road, I have doubtless raised the inquiry on many a mind here, ‘What would have been the effect had General Magruder not mistaken the order, or had there been only one road known by that name?’ I am unable to say; and not having been educated a soldier, I do not presume to criticise. With the knowledge of the roads and the country, gained since that time, and the experience of the years after the battle, I will venture to say that had Magruder followed on the Willis church road and the (Federal map) Quaker road, and occupied the position of D. H. Hill, so that that officer, together with Early and Ewell, could have extended our left until it encircled Malvern Hill, the enemy would have been taken in flank and forced to give battle on ground more advantageous to us, or to make his retreat over the single road across Turkey Island creek.

The depositions of three intelligent citizens and soldiers of Henrico

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Malvern Hill (Virginia, United States) (3)
Turkey Island Creek (Virginia, United States) (1)
Quaker (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Henrico (Virginia, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John Bankhead Magruder (2)
Robert E. Lee (2)
Swinton (1)
Longstreet (1)
D. H. Hill (1)
A. P. Hill (1)
Ewell (1)
W. T. Early (1)
Curl (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: