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[71] were defending every inch of ground, they might probably have been able to enter Richmond with then.

The combat of the 1st of June, in which but a few thousand men were engaged on either side, had notwithstanding the proportions of a great battle. On the left it was marked by a brilliant charge of Sickles' brigade along the railway track; on the right by a sharp encounter between an Irish brigade in the Federal service, commanded by General Meagher, and Pickett's troops. Before noon the Federal outposts took possession without a blow of the works whose capture had cost so dear to the Confederate army, and suffered it to disappear among the dense woods without molestation. This brilliant army, which had gone out the day before almost in triumph for the purpose of delivering Richmond from the grasp of the invader, returned to its cantonments on that same evening, with only four flags, ten cannon and twelve hundred prisoners, more as an evidence of its valor than as a token of success.

The undecided battle, which had drenched the vicinity of Fair Oaks with blood during two entire days, was attended with a loss of nearly four thousand five hundred men to the Confederates, and five thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven on the part of the Federals. The heaviest losses on both sides were sustained around Seven Pines; those of Longstreet and Hill amounted to more than three thousand, and those of Keyes to three thousand one hundred and twenty men.1 After such a struggle the two armies, composed of soldiers but little inured as yet to the hardships of war, were equally in need of rest.2

A very remarkable work just published by General Johnston explains how McClellan is mistaken in attributing a loss of two

1 The official reports give the following figures for the army of the Potomac: Sumner, one hundred and eighty-three killed, eight hundred and ninety-four wounded, one hundred and forty-six prisoners; Heintzelman, two hundred and fifty-nine killed, nine hundred and eighty wounded, one hundred and fifty-five prisoners; Keyes, four hundred and forty-eight killed, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-three wounded, nine hundred and twenty-one prisoners; total: eight hundred and ninety killed, three thousand six hundred and twenty-seven wounded, and one thousand two hundred and twenty-two prisoners. For the army of Northern Virginia: Longstreet and Hill, a little over three thousand; Smith, one thousand two hundred and thirty-three men disabled.

2 See Note A in the Appendix to this volume.

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