Opening of the fight.
interesting incidents on the field — account of the battle — heavy loss of officers — arrival of the wounded. &c., &c., &c., &c.,
successful attack on the Federal forces.
the enemy driven back and unable to Recover their position.
heavy loss on both sides.
The terrific thunder storm of last Friday night led many to suppose that military operations on our Lines would be retarded for several days, and particularly with those who were considered to be perfectly au fais with the topographical nature of the country on which our noble army was stationed. With a volatile stream and swamp in front, (the Chickahominy,) it was thought that an attack was impossible, or at least impracticable either from friend or foe, owing to the flood of rain which fell; but on Saturday morning early our scouts reported that, during the previous night, the enemy had conveyed very heavy bodies of men across, or in the swamp, and that their retreat or extrication was almost a matter of impossibility. Towards nine A. M. on Saturday we observed large bodies of troops of Longstreet's division moving towards, and on the Williamsburg road, with bands in full blast, colors flying and men hilarious with delight, supposing, as proved to be the case, that the enemy were to be attacked in force and compelled to retreat or surrender. He stilly proceeding down the road indicated, we found it almost impossible to pass, owing to the immense bodies of water lying along the route, together with an unlimited supply of mud. From Magruder's farm, and several miles forward upon the turnpike, all seemed to be an impassable swamp. How regiment after regiment traversed the ground seems even now almost a problem. Yet, onward, onward passed Longstreet's division towards the point of attack; and although everything seemed unusually quiet there was a peculiar stare and rumbling in the woods and on the road, (some six miles, and in the woods fronting Barker's plantation,) which denoted that the enemy were unusually active and anticipated our advance. Between 9 and 10 A. M., a part of Hill's division were deployed as skirmishers on the right and left of the road, which were soon replaced by the arrival of Longstreet's veterans. Between 11and 12 A. M., the 28th Georgia and 2d Mississippi were deployed as skirmishers fronting the woods, and began the advance without much opposition, but as they proceeded along the turnpike, and in the woods, the enemy, concealed behind a fence, and in force, opened a furious rifle fire, which for a moment caused our brave boys to wink and stage. Yet, recovering themselves in an instant, they delivered a murderous volley in reply; and with hearty cheers dashed through the woods after their discomfited and frightened foe, driving them helter skelter before them, and making many bite the cold, wet, and muddy ground. Observing the strength of the enemy's line in front, our commander ordered up the 4th North Carolina, who, advancing in force, broke through the 2d Mississippi battalion, in their hurried progress, and divided the latter corps in such a manner that, subsequently, their whole force could not be again collected. Brilliant in conception and execution, the finely drilled North Carolinas flanked the enemy's dense line of skirmishers, and did such sad, havoc by their flanking fire that the enemy precipitately fell back upon their unfinished breastwork in, and commanding the entrance to, the extensive grounds of Barker's farm. This breastwork, however, is but one of a chain of similar earthworks, which the invaders have erected this side of the Chickahominy stream, and, running parallel with it, are nearer to our forces from the N. W. than N. E., particularly so to those of ours stationed on the Mechanicville road. Having arrived in open ground, our forces commenced to howl in a fearful manner, terrifying the enemy with their indescribable sounds. The 4th North Carolina, regardless of consequences, shut their eyes to the chances, and attacked the work in gallant style, being supported by other regiments to the right and left. They gained their object, but it is said were unable to retain it, for the enemy's large brass howitzers dealt destruction among them, and it is reported they fell back in admirable order, until fresh troops could be brought to bear upon the hordes of Pennsylvanians, who, in thousands, were pouring vollies upon them. At about this time, 1 P. M., some other reinforcements of Longstreet's corps arriving turned the tide of battle for a time, but not permanently.--Among others St. Paul's (La) battalion, (three companies) appeared upon the scene, and looking to where the fire was hottest, dashed into the enemy in French style with the bayonet, and with their watch word ‘"Butler"’ upon their lips, drove everything before them, attacking odds in every instance, and not satisfying their vengeance until almost decimated. Our artillery at this juncture came into play, and although the mud baffled human industry, patience, and perseverance, some piece of the Lynchburg (we believe Latham's) Battery got into position, at the entrance to Barker's farm, and played such havoc that the foe deserted their four large brass howitzers, unable to reply. But as the enemy's whole brigade-camp (tents and all) were yet standing — as Barker's house, out-houses, &c., lay parallel to the road — and as a very large wood-pile was at right angles with it, the enemy, reinforced, crowded their breastworks, and from all these points kept up such a terrific fire that our men, appearing from the wood and on the road, were cut down as fast as discovered. Nothing daunted at the immense show and numbers of the foe, notwithstanding our artillery, from the nature of the roads and ground, was incapable of advancing, our infantry appeared upon their flanks, regiment after regiment, drove them from their hiding places, captured their guns, fortifications, and entire camp, with great supplies, and drove the foe two miles beyond their encampment of the morning. The greatest and hottest fire was about 4 P. M., when Latham's and Carter's batteries got into action, supported by the 4th and 5th South Carolina, 1st Virginia, 12th Mississippi, and other regiments. Having many valuables in camp, and it being well provided with tents, provisions, (including 100 bbls. of whiskey,) they made a terrific effort to retrieve the fortunes of the day, and Gen. Casey, their commander, moved up every available man to support or cover his flying columns. Tents, provisions, guns, ambulances, wagons, spars horses, and, in fact, everything stationed on the Williamsburg road, fell into our hands, and regiment after regiment of the enemy retreated to the Chickahominy faster than every witnessed before by old campaigners, leaving large numbers of killed and wounded to the fortunes of war. Beaten and driven in disgrace from their camp and earthworks on the Williamsburg road, the enemy made a bold attempt to regain the lost; round by a vigorous flank movement down the York River R. R., thinking thus to retrieve the fortunes of the day and place things as they were in the morning. Heavy firing consequently commenced between 5 and 6 P. M., to the left of the Williamsburg road, near the seven mile post, on the York River Railroad, but Oddaway's battery and a brigade in waiting received their advance with such ardor that, without any preliminary, the Tennesseeans and others throw themselves upon the Federals, drove in their skirmisher, attacked the main force, and up to the middle in water assailed the battery before them, and took it with the bayonet. The fighting in this direction was not of long duration, but of great intensity and noise, Imboden's (or Oddaway's) field pieces being worked with remarkable precision and celerity, expediting the enemy's retreat within a short time. The enthusiasm of the men on the left of the Williamsburg road could not be restrained. Short after shout rent the air, and it did not even subside when actually engaged themselves late in the evening; for, although not personally with them, we could well mark their successful advance by the dying sounds of their wild shouts in the woods. Thus, then, when darkness had fairly set in upon the scene, the enemy's attempt upon our Lines at two points had disatrously failed, and the foe driven three miles beyond their original position of the morning, will a total loss of twelve of fifteen guns, thousands of killed and wounded; and immense stores of every description. Yet what pen can describe the scene presented on every side? Friend and foe scattered far and wide in death, or in last agonies.--Here and there are deserted camps — dead and dying fill the tents — horses wounded and lame rush to and fro — surgeons and ambulances journey to and fro — here are artillery-men some Federal, Some Confederate, wounded or dead, within a few feet of each other — every wound-known to the human body is seen in ghastly reality. All crave water, and crawling through mud, tap the blood-stained and slimy flood. Some curse some mean and turn their eyes to heaven sadly. Rebels hand around water to their late foes. and eyes glisten in thankfulness. Squads of prisoners are seen issuing from the woods in divers places and scowl upon their captors ominously, while others whistle and joke along the road as if infinitely gratified at capture. Pere comes a stalwart Alabamian, left hand shattered and in a sling, carrying off triumphantly the colors of the 54th Pennsylvania Volunteers, keeping a watchful eye up on the standard bearer at his side, who hangs low his head, and ignominiously drags his slow sleigh along. ‘"I wouldn't have surrendered my colors,"’ said he with the air of a poltroon, ‘"but I was assisting a wounded officer, and was surrounded by three regiments!"’ A very probable story, say all soldier! Presently there appears a long line of ‘"blue jackets,"’ conducted by a few of the 5th South Carolina Volunteers--really, we beg pardon, we should have said. ‘"Col Jenkins' 1st Reg't S. Carolina Sharp Shooters!"’ and let us add, en passant, that no regiment did better service than this corps, while the 4th suffered severely. Our wounded truly were very numerous; but trudged along quite philosophically. But we must confess that in the whole number we did not see half so much complaint as was witnessed with a small squad of Yankees, who pitched, and flossed, and howled in an outrageous manner even intimidating those of the ambulance corps, who hurried to their relief. ‘"All right, fellows,"’ said one of our boys, coming from the front desperately wounded, and laughing withal--‘"Go in, boys, and finish,--we have driven them as far as legs would carry us. We got 100 barrels of whiskey, so hurrah for us!"’ But while in the hurry and confusion, incident to an engagement of this nature, we must confess that the arrangements and plans of our Generals for repelling the foe were of the most admirable nature, and elicited hearty applause from all who observed; but, then, we know they had troops, the finest in the whole world, and men, indeed, who knew not what danger was. To particularize, we cannot attempt for want of space and time — sufficient to say, that Saturday's operations ended in another ‘"Federal victory (!)"’ and that the foe ‘"retired"’ three miles to enjoy it undisturbed! Expecting a resumption of hostilities on Sunday, every preparation was made therefore, and at an early hour, the enemy commenced to advance down the York River Railroad; but Gen. Mahone's Brigade (of Huger's command) met them, and gallantly drove them backwards again, although manfully attempting to regain the position lost the evening before. We are sorry to add that in this engagement, the 3d Alabama lost Col. Lomax, and Adj. Johnson, while the 12th Virginia (and Richmond Grays particularly) lost many valuable men. The 9th Virginia did not act so well as usual! The enemy were particularly active with artillery and accurately shelled the ambulance train on the York River road. Operations along the line yesterday, were not of very important nature, the enemy being intent upon preparing for their main attack to-day, (Monday.) We are sorry to say that our officers suffered severely in the two days operations, and among others we would add that Gen. Garland had three horses shot under him, and was severely hurt before relinquishing his command in the field. Gen. Pettigrew was killed, Col Lomax, (3rd Ala.,) Col. Hatton, (7th Tenn,) and others, and as to the number of subordinate officers the list is a long and fearful one. Time and space precludes the possibility of further details — to-day is big with Fate! may Providence aid us in our cause, and may historians yet chronicle a second Marathon. Later in the evening the enemy appeared in force near the battle field of the morning which was then held by our men. Gen. Mahone's brigade still occupied the advance and were drawn up in line of battle, prepared to meet the foe, notwithstanding the severe loss it had sustained in the morning. Many of our dead and wounded still remained upon the field, and among them the body of the lamented Colonel Lomax. An omnibus was sent out to get as many as possible, but this was captured by the enemy.--The Yankees advanced to the edge of a piece of woods, within about one thousand yards of our line, where they halted and remained at dusk. Gen Mahone's brigade was soon reinforced by several brigades which were drawn up a short distance in its rear, while a large force was placed near by in reserve.--President Davis, General Lee, Smith, Longstreet, Stuart, and other commanding Generals, were upon the ground at this point, showing that it was an important position in the affairs of the day. Thus matters stood at sundown. As no further attack was anticipated during the night, our troops prepared to bivouac on the field, in readiness for the events of to-day. Of course it is impossible at this time to chronicle but a small portion of the casualties and incidents. We give such as we have been able to obtain. The 12th Virginia and the 3d Alabama behaved nobly. Both regiment were cut up badly. The Richmond Grays lost two killed and five wounded and missing. Probably no regiment suffered more than the 3d Alabama. Besides Col. Lomax, Adjutant Johnston, Capt Mays, Capt. Phelan, and Lieut. James Brown, were killed, and Captain Ready, Capt Robinson, Lieut Witherspoon, Lieut. Gardner, Lieut Partridge were wounded. These casualties were among the officers alone. The slaughter among the privates was terrific. The Lynchburg Artillery, formerly known as Latham's battery, now commanded by Captain James Dearing, did good service in the fight. The men fought bravely and laid many a Yankee upon the ground. Captain Dearing entered with thirty-four cannoneers, and had nineteen wounded. He also had between thirty and forty horses disabled. The 1st Lieutenant, Dickenson, had his leg broken. Captain Dearing is a brave and efficient young officer, and won his spurs on this occasion. One of the batteries captured was the ‘"Empire Battery"’ of New York, Capt. Miller. The guns were new, brass field pieces, known as the Napoleon gun, made by the American manufacturing company. The horses were all killed, but the pieces have been turned over to Capt Miller of the Washington Artillery. Col. D. O. Godwin, of the 9th Virginia, was severely wounded. The corps was badly used up. The 12th Virginia and the 3d Alabama charged a battery and drove the Yankees from it. The 12th and 6th Alabama took a battery of ten pieces. The 1st Virginia and 4th North Carolina charged a battery and drove the enemy out. The 9th Virginia also suffered much. The Colonel of the 11th Alabama is reported killed. Among the sad casualties of the day may be mentioned one peculiarly touching.--Mr. Richard Yeadon, of Charleston, South Carolina, at the earnest solicitation of his nephew and adopted son, Richard Yeadon, Jr. came here to chronicle the greatest battle of the war, but we regret to say that he had to chronicle the death of the gallant youth. He was killed, yesterday afternoon, between five and six o'clock, (about an hour and a half after Mr. Y. had taken leave of him, near the scene of his death.) while bravely charging a battery of the enemy, concealed in a thicket, a ball passing through his head and he dying instantly. Three others of his company, (the Washington Light Infantry, Hampton Legion,) bit the dust at the same time, and many more were wounded, and the enemy having repulsed the attacking party are in possession of the dead. The casualties in the 23d North Carolina, as far as heard from, are as follows Killed.--A F Scarborough, Captain, B. J. Redfern, co., & left on the field. Wounded — Frank Bannett, co. A, slight Corp'l Young Allen, co. A; Berry Tallon, co A, severely — left on the field; Thos Talton, co. A, slightly; T. J. Cash, co., E, slightly, Corp'l W. D. Echard. co. F. slightly. Corp'l J F Killian, co K. slightly. W Seagle, co B, severely — left on the field, heard from through a prisoner; doing well, Million Remsey, co. B, slightly. The following is a list of the casualties in the 7th Virginia regiment as far as heard form. Adjutant Starke wounded dangerously through the body. Company A.-- B. Bowich in hand; John Reguolde, slightly in leg. Company B.--H. T. Porter, in leg. Wm Porter, slightly in hand; Geo. Hardey, slightly in arm; John Dorlin, in thigh, Edw H. ompton, slightly in thigh; Stephen Jenkins, killed. Company C.--D M. Foushee, slightly in arm, Edw Colina, slightly in arm; corp', Crutchfield, slightly in hand; sergeant Bartley slightly in leg. Company D.--Joseph Lewry, in knee.; E. R. Walker, slightly in leg; T Burton, slightly in hand. Company E.--B. W. Brown, in finger; A Legg, slightly in back; R H Parker, severely in arm. Company F.--H. A. Sims, severely in arm; H Shifflott, badly in head; Reuben Estas severely in leg; John C. Whert, slightly in shoulder; Marcelius Kennedy, slightly in the neck; Lieut J M Deane, in finger. Company I.--E M Wolfe, in finger. Company E.--Wm Hill, mortally in abdomen; Wm Hurt, severely in abdomen. Fourth North Carolina State Troops.--This regiment was in the severe engagement on Saturday, and lost many officers and men. It went into the fight under the leadership of its Colonel, G. B. Anderson. We append the following partial list of the casualties occurring amongst the officers of the regiment: Lieut. White, company C, of Iredell, killed; Captain Wood, company B, wounded in hip; Dr. Shevin, of company B, Killed; E. Thomas, company F, wounded in arm; John Waddell, company C, wounded in arm; Color bearer of regiment, killed; Adjutant of regiment, killed; Captain Simonton, Iredell Blues, killed; Lieut. McCrory, Iredell Blues, killed.