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[571]

Doc. 171.-occupation of Malvern Hill, Va.


New-York Tribune account.

camp near Harrison's Landing, Wednesday morning, August 6, 1862.
Hooker and Sedgwick repossessed Malvern Hills yesterday morning. They marched circuitously to the right, and approached in the rear of that position, having the enemy between them and the river. He may have been four thousand strong. The ball opened with artillery, both parties throwing spherical case; the enemy throwing more and making better practice than he usually does. His guns were numerous in proportion to his men. The duel began on Nelson's farm. Leaving that position, the enemy fell back two miles, to Malvern, and made a stand. Here the battle raged an hour, the gunboats participating; I do not think they were of any service, however. By an hour, the enemy was becoming silent. Soon after we advanced, not firing again. The bayonet was sufficient. The enemy did not stand an instant, nor fire a shot. He had already withdrawn his guns by the river-road toward Richmond. His cavalry followed them. His infantry scattered into a heavy body of woods, and, taking by-paths and cattle-ways, passed through to that same river-road, and escaped. The Eighth Illinois cavalry charged after, cut down numbers, and captured forty. The woods were too dense for a destructive charge. Becoming hopelessly entangled in the woody meshes, they were compelled to draw rein. So ended the battle.

If the design was to capture the enemy in a body, it failed. Nevertheless the results are important. We again threaten Richmond. We captured fifty, perhaps, of those lurking within our lines; we hunted out of the woods five times that number; killed and wounded sixty that are in our hands, and doubtless have given the enemy a good scare. He probably was astounded at such audacity in this army.

Our loss will reach forty killed and wounded. Here is a partial list:

Killed — Ed. F. Jones, company G, Eleventh Massachusetts; John Nolan, company G, Eleventh Massachusetts; John Dugan, Eighth Illinois cavalry; Sergeant 0. J. Morse, Eighth Illinois cavalry.

Wounded--Lieut.-Col. Gamble, Eighth Illinois cavalry, severely; Capt. Benson, of Benson's regular battery, severely; W. E. Jeffrey, company G, Eleventh Massachusetts, thigh; Sergeant Wm. P. Price, Eleventh Massachusetts, arm; Marcus M. Holmes, Eleventh Massachusetts, ankle; John Towle, Eleventh Massachusetts, slightly; Jas. H. Sutcliffe, Eleventh Massachusetts, slightly.

The casualties in the Eleventh Massachusetts were all by a single shell. Besides the above, the Sixteenth Massachusetts lost seven or eight, and the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania as many.

We picketed last night nearly or quite to White Oak Swamps, and some distance up the river. The men are immensely elated at regaining old battle-fields.

C. A. P.


Richmond Examiner account.

Richmond, August 10.
An officer who participated in the affair at Malvern Hill has furnished us with the following particulars with reference to the occupancy of that point by the enemy, and its subsequent recovery by our forces under General Longstreet:

On Tuesday morning the Eighth Georgia regiment, Capt. Lawson commanding, was moved up from New-Market Heights to relieve the Seventeenth, then on picket on Malvern Hill. On the march they were met by several couriers, stating that the enemy were in large force advancing upon the hill, and in its immediate vicinity. The reports of artillery gave evidence that a brisk engagement was going on. When the Eighth Georgia reached the base of the hill, the announcement was made by several couriers to Captain Lawson that the ammunition of our pieces was exhausted, and that the artillery at the post, and the Seventeenth, were surrounded. Capt. Lawson immediately despatched a courier to the commandant of the Seventeenth, that he had formed his regiment in line of battle at the base of the hill, and would protect their retreat, and to come off at all hazards. With artillery playing upon one flank and a cavalry charge upon the other, they left the hill, and succeeded in making good their retreat, bringing off all their pieces, and only losing one caisson, that was torn to pieces in the fight. Some eight or nine of the Seventeenth had previously been captured while picketing.

Three members of the artillery were killed and two wounded. Between seventy and eighty of the enemy are supposed to have been killed. About one mile from the base of the hill the Eighth Georgia was overtaken by the enemy's cavalry and artillery. So soon as it was discovered, the regiment was drawn up in line of battle, which checked the advance of the foe. The regiment then moved back into a corn-field, and, under cover of the corn and intervening hills, the retreat was effected with the loss of one man of the regiment, who was captured. The regiment continued to fall back till it came within a short distance of New-Market Heights. About three o'clock the same regiment received orders to advance again through a thick woods on the left of the river-road, with a view to feel the enemy. They advanced about two miles, when their skirmisher were fired upon by the enemy, simultaneously with a charge of the enemy's cavalry upon our cavalry. Our cavalry fell back, but the regiment continued to respond to the fire of the enemy for some ten minutes, when the firing ceased. Falling back, the cavalry and infantry took position at an eligible position about four hundred yards in rear of the woods. The enemy made no further demonstration on that day, having full possession of the hill.

On Wednesday morning, at daylight, the corps of Gen. Longstreet was moved forward, and encamped that night within half a mile of the hill, the day having been spent in reconnoitring. On Thursday, about twelve o'clock, the corps advanced [572] and took possession of the hill without firing a gun, the enemy having evacuated the night before, about twelve o'clock. The number of the enemy was estimated at from fifteen to thirty thousand. Several prisoners were taken, among them two sentinels, who were on the top of the house on the summit of the hill. Considerable supplies of coffee, meat, crackers, etc., were left by the enemy, indicating that they had evacuated under evident alarm.


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