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Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 2, Chapter 26: the gun-boats in the James River-battle of seven Pines. (search)
path, just under the bluff, to attack the enemy in flank and reverse. Impatient of delay, I had started to see General Magruder, when I met the third courier, who said he had not found General Magruder, but had delivered the message to Brigadier-General Griffith, who was moving by the path designated to make the attack. On returning to the field, I found that the attack in front had ceased; it was, therefore, too late for a single brigade to effect anything against the large force of the enemy, and messengers were sent through the woods to direct General Griffith to go back. The heavy rain during the night of the 30th had swollen the Chickahominy; it was rising when the battle of Seven Pines was fought; but had not reached such height as to prevent the enemy from using his bridges; consequently, General Sumner, during the engagement, brought over his corps as a reinforcement. He was on the north side of the river, had built two bridges to connect with the south side, and, th
nterwoven with the seven days battles as to be more appropriately noticed in connection with them. According to the published reports, General McClellan's position was regarded at this time as extremely critical. During the night I visited the several commands along the intrenchment on the south side of the Chickahominy. In one of these engagements our loss was small in numbers, but great in value. Among others who could ill be spared, here fell the gallant soldier Brigadier-General Richard Griffith. He had served with distinction in foreign war, and when the South was invaded was among the first to take up arms in defence of our rights. Mr. Davis leaned over him and said, My dear boy, I hope you are not seriously hurt. The General grasped his hand and said, Yes, I think fatally; farewell, Colonel. Our troops slept upon their arms. The enemy retreated during the night, and by the time thus gained, he was enabled to cross the White Oak Creek and destroy the bridge