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[141] under McRae, whose losses were so frightful and bravery so heroic, as to win for it the sobriquet of the ‘Bloody 5th.’

It was next found that the enemy had landed in force at West Point, and had occupied a thick woods between the New Kent road and Eltham's Landing, threatening the column on the march, with a fatal attack upon its flank. General Johnston reports:

The security of our march required that he should be disloged, and General G. W. Smith was entrusted with this service. He performed it very handsomely, with Hampton's and Hood's Brigades, under Whiting, who drove the enemy, in about two hours, a mile and a half through the woods to the protection of their vessels of war. If the statements published in the Northern papers at the time are accurate, their losses were ten times as great as ours.

So much for prompt and timely action at a critical moment. The whole of Franklin's superb division was routed by Whiting's two small brigades.

This repulse occurred May 6th, and inspired the troops anew with devoted confidence in their indomitable leader.

In token of this General Whiting was surprised at the reception of a letter from the officers of the 4th Alabama, of his brigade, tendering to him a present of a noble charger, which on May 22nd was formally presented at dress-parade, ‘as an evidence of high esteem and appreciation of you as a soldier and a gentleman, by the regiment.’

On the last day of the same month, occurred the famous engagement of the Seven Pines. It will be remembered by veterans that this bloody conflict has gone into history as a drawn battle. The victory of Seven Pines for the Confederates being followed by inaction at Fair Oaks the next day, and the result a check, but not an overwhelming defeat for the United States troops as it might have been.

The testimony of the ‘Records of the Rebellion,’ in which is all the evidence of reports of commanders throughout the field, shows unmistakably that the same sluggishness and want of response to orders, which lost the battle of Gettysburg, by the failure of Longstreet to move in time to the support of Pickett and Pettigrew, was at fault there.

General G. W. Smith shows (Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, Vol. II, 241) that Whiting's division, advancing at 6 A. M., was blocked by Longstreet's troops, and in spite of herculean efforts,

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