The Fortieth anniversary.
Old Confederates may recall that this week is the anniversary of the very days of the Seven Days battles around Richmond
, just forty years ago—June 26 to July 1, 1862.
It was on Thursday afternoon, June 26th, that General A. P. Hill
opened the series with his battle at Beaver Dam creek
, near Mechanicsville
It was not intended that this battle should begin until General T. J. (Stonewall
had gotten into position with his forces from the Valley
To deceive McClellan
, General Whiting
had been sent to Staunton
by rail with reinforcements for General Jackson
, but these were at once recalled, and Jackson
's foot cavalry, then encamped near Weyer
's Cave, was marched with all haste to Richmond
to turn McClellan
's right flank.
We lost no time on the way until near Richmond
, when we were considerably delayed by the obstruction of the roads, and on one occasion by taking the wrong road, so that it was not possible to reach the vicinity of Richmond
by June 26th, as had been agreed upon by Lee
in their midnight interview a few days before, Jackson
having left his troops and ridden to Richmond
with one courier for this interview.
Discretion would seem to have dictated postponing the first attack until the next day to give time for General Jackson
to get into the desired position, but valor got the better of discretion this time, and, though the attack was made by General A. P. Hill
with characteristic impetuosity, it was but to be repulsed that afternoon with the loss of many brave men.
That night General Fitzjohn Porter
withdrew his forces to the previously selected, almost impregnable position at Gaines' Mill
, which he would have done anyhow, for General Jackson
's movement necessitated that.
Here the Federal
troops were found in their excellent array next morning.
's forces were compelled to halt awhile this day at a certain cross-roads to allow General