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Battle of Glendale, June 30, 1862.1

Report of General Hooker.

headquarters Hooker's division, Third army corps, camp near Harrison's Landing, James Riyer, Va., July 15, 1862.
Captain C. McKeever, Assistant Adjutant-General Third Army Corps:
In obedience to instructions, my command was withdrawn from its advanced position before Richmond about sunrise, on the twenty-ninth ultimo. We retired, in condition to give or receive battle, as occasion might require, to a new line a mile or more in the rear, where it was halted and drawn up to check any advance of the enemy, either by the Williamsburgh road or railroad.

The enemy followed up our movements closely, taking possession of our camps as soon as they were abandoned, but evincing no disposition to come to close quarters. We remained in our new position until about three o'clock P. M., with no other event than a feeble attack on Sumner's [260] advance line — that officer's corps being on my right — and a few projectiles from the artillery, which found their way inside my lines. Orders were now sent me to fall back to Savage's station for its defence; and while my column was moving for that purpose, orders were again received to follow Kearney in his flank movements towards James River, and to cross Oak swamp at Brackett's Ford, which was accomplished that night — the rear of my column coming up to the Charles City road about ten o'clock, at which point we bivouacked for the night.

In this flank movement two of my batteries — Osborne's and Bramhall's — had been detached for duty in the defence of Savage's station, where they rendered efficient service. The report of Capt. Osborne is herewith forwarded, to which the attention of the Major-General commanding the corps is especially invited.

About daylight the following morning, thirtieth ult., the Major-General commanding the corps communicated to me in person that it was his desire that my division should cover what is called the Quaker road, over which our troops, artillery and trains were to pass in their retrograde march to James River.

As Kearney's division was assigned the same duty, and as it was yet early in the morning, we mounted our horses, rode over the road we were required to defend, and examined the country and the approaches over which the enemy would be the most likely to advance.

The direction of Quaker's road is nearly perpendicular to the general course of James River, and crosses at nearly right angles the principal highways leading out of Richmond, between the river and the Williamsburgh road. Numerous by-roads connect these most-travelled highways with the Quaker road, and it was determined that I should establish my division on the one which falls into the last-named road, near St. Paul's church, the right resting on this crossroad, and the line nearly parallel with, and half a mile or more in advance of, the Quaker road. A forest covered the area between my position and this road.

On my right was Sumner's corps, in a cleared field, occupying the position which I had supposed was assigned to Kearney, and Kearney remained near where I had left him early in the morning.

About nine o'clock my line of battle was established — Grover on the right, Carr in the centre, and Sickles's brigade on the left.

In the mean time, directions were given for all of my batteries to continue their march to our proposed camp near James River, in order that they might be put in position there.

About eleven o'clock A. M. some of our army-wagons were observed in my front, which, on inquiry, were found to belong to McCall's division, which was the first intimation I had received of his being in my neighborhood, and, on examination, I found his division drawn up in line of battle, his left resting five hundred or six hundred yards from my right, and stretching off at an obtuse angle with the direction of my own. The woods in which this division was found extended to the immediate front of my right, narrowing in width as it approached my position.

About three o'clock the enemy commenced a vigorous attack on McCall, and in such force that Gen. Sumner voluntarily tendered me the services of a regiment which was posted in an open field on my extreme right, and under shelter from the enemy's artillery. This was the Sixty-ninth regiment Pennsylvania volunteers, under Col. Owen.

Meanwhile, the enemy's attack had grown in force and violence, and after an ineffectual effort to resist it, the whole of McCall's division was completely routed, and many of the fugitives rushed down the road on which my right was resting, while others took the cleared field, and broke through my lines, from one end of them to the other, and actually fired on and killed some of my men as they passed. At first I was apprehensive that the effect would be disastrous on my command, and was no little relieved when they had passed my lines. Following closely upon the footsteps of these demoralized people, were the broken masses of the enemy, furiously pressing them on to me under cover of the woods, until they were checked by a front fire of the Sixteenth Massachusetts volunteers, and afterwards by a diagonal fire on their right and left flanks from the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania volunteers and the left of the Sixteenth Massachusetts. Also, whenever the enemy ventured to uncover himself from the forest, a destructive fire was poured into him along my right wing.

After great loss the enemy gave way, and were instantly followed with great gallantry by Grover at the head of the First Massachusetts regiment, while the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania, heroically led by Owen, advanced in the open field on their flank, with almost reckless daring.

Grover was reinforced by the Second New-Hampshire and the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania regiments, but not until after he had suffered severely from the enemy's reserves. The enemy were rolled back through a part of McCall's camp, and passing Sumner's front, they were by him hurriedly thrown over on to Kearney, where the fire was kept up until a late hour in the night.

During all this time several of Sumner's batteries had been doing splendid execution in the rebel ranks, and greatly contributed to our success. The troops under Grover were withdrawn from the pursuit at dark, and restored to their places in line of battle.

Soon after this attack was made, word was received from Gen. Sickles that the enemy in his immediate front were preparing to turn our left, when all our reserves were despatched to strengthen him. No attack, however, in force was made, and Sickles's and Carr's brigades remained in position. The former reports the capture of one hundred and fifty prisoners, in which are included one Lieutenant-Colonel, one Captain, five Lieutenants, and forty enlisted men, taken by Capt. Parks, company F, Second New-York volunteers, [261] Carr's brigade. To these should be added one stand of colors, all of which were forwarded to the headquarters of Gen. Sumner.

The loss of the rebels in this battle was very severe. The field on which they fought was one of unusual extent for the number engaged, and it was almost covered with their dead and dying.

From their torches we could see that the enemy was busy all night long in searching for his wounded, but up to daylight the following morning there had been no apparent diminution in the heart-rending cries and groans of his wounded. The unbroken, mournful wail of human suffering was all that we heard from Glendale during that long, dismal night.

I was instructed to hold my position until Sumner and Kearney had retired over the Quaker road, and soon after daylight my command was withdrawn and followed them.

Among others, I have to deplore the loss of Col. Wyman, of the Sixteenth Massachusets volunteers, and — there is too much reason to believe — of Major Chandler of the First Massachusetts volunteers, both officers of singular merit and promise. Diligent search was made for the latter during the night, without success, and no tidings of his fate have since been received by his regiment.

I respectfully forward herewith the reports of brigade and regimental commanders. Also the report of the services of Osborne's battery at Malvern Hill. From these, it will appear that my division has again given me cause to be profoundly grateful for their conduct and courage.

As Col. Owen has rendered me no report of the operations of his regiment, I can only express my high appreciation of his services and my acknowledgments to his Chief for having tendered me so gallant a regiment.

I must again make my heartfelt acknowledgments to my brigade commanders, and especially am I indebted to Brig.-Gen. Grover for his great gallantry on this field.

I also beg leave to call the attention of the Major-General commanding the corps to Surgeon Foy, of the Eleventh Massachusetts volunteers, for his activity in searching for our wounded, and his devotion to them when found. His labors only ended on our abandonment of the field.

To Capt. Dickinson, Assistant Adjutant-General, Lieuts. Lawrence and Candler, Aids-de-Camp, I tender my sincere thanks for their services.

Very respectfully, etc.,

Joseph Hooker, Brig.-General Commanding Division.

Official report of Colonel Cowdin.

headquarters First Massachusetts volunteers, July 11, 1862.
William Schouler, Adjutant-General of Massachusetts:
sir: I make to you the following report of the part taken in the battle of Nelson's Farm, near White Oak swamp, by the regiment under my command, Monday, June thirtieth:

During the action, I was ordered to charge on the enemy in. front, at considerable distance, which I did, passing over a fence, across a field, and through the woods, the rebels falling back before us. We still advanced through an open field. Here we advanced in line of battle, when a brigade of troops, dressed in our uniforms, and supposed to be our own, opened a terrific fire on our front and left flank, from which fire I lost my bravest and best men.

In connection with this movement, I cannot speak in too high praise of Major Chandler, Capts. Baldwin, Walker and Adams, and Lieuts. Henry and Sutherland, who assisted greatly in cheering on the men. During this encounter, Major Chandler and Lieutenant Sutherland were wounded and fell, and were probably taken prisoners. The officers and men behaved with great courage during the whole time.

The following is a list of casualties in the engagement:

Major Chandler, missing, and supposed to be wounded and a prisoner.

Company A--Killed--Private Julius A. Phelps, of Brookline, Mass. Wounded — H. Finnily, of Boston; J. C. Singer, of Boston; Charles D. Cates, of Brookline. Missing — John O. Dea, of Boston; William Monary, Fernando McCrillis.

Company B--Wounded--Lieut. Warren, in arm, slightly; Sergeant W. E. Haywood, bayonet wound, slight; George H. Hanscom, slightly, in hand. Missing — George Barry.

Company C--Wounded — S. A. Goodhue, slightly, in the leg; E. B. Nichols, badly, and missing. Missing — George E. Wright.

Company D--Killed--Sergeant Fred. Ran, of Boston. Wounded and missing--Lieut. William Sutherland, Sergeant Isaac Williams, Corporal William E. Rice, Private John Kyle.

Company E--Wounded--Lieut. Miles Farwell, slight; Sergeant Thomas Strongman, in hand, slight; Private Conrad Herman, wounded and missing. Missing--Private Edwin P. Whitman.

Company F--Wounded--Private Alexander Gordon, slightly. Missing--Corporal James E. Keeley, Privates John Carney, Edward K. Chandler, Daniel Garrity, Simon Stern.

Company G--Wounded — Timothy Connors, Charles H. Goodwin, Joshua M. Caswell, Alvah J. Wilson, Phillimon White. Missing-- First Sergeant R. M. Maguire, and Privates John Allen and Edwin Gilpatrick.

Company H--Wounded — John R. Cudworth, buckshot in chin; Thomas Thombs, buckshot in left arm ; George H. Green, buckshot in face; Nathaniel Allen, buckshot over right eye.

Company I--Wounded--Privates William J. Fleming, left arm; Alexander Grant, left arm;----Hurley and----Wilson. Missing — Privates----Netland,----Towle,----Crowell, all wounded and left on the field.

Company K--Killed — William B. Hall, John Dolan. Wounded--Lieut. Carruth, slightly; Privates L. A. Payson, slightly; William Clark, William J. Hudson, Thomas R. Mathers, George H. Wheeler, John W. Nilling. Missing — Wesley Jackson, John P. Ross, (wounded and left on the [262] field,) Charles S. Leonard, David B. Copeland.

Total — Killed, four; wounded, thirty; missing, twenty-eight--in all, sixty-two.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Robert Cowdin, Colonel First Massachusetts Volunteers.

Captain Brady's account.

headquarters light battery H, First Pennsylvania artillery, near Fort Darling, July 1, 1862.
We have had a victory! Five thousand rebel prisoners, and thirty pieces of artillery. In the morning, every thing indicated a hard-fought field and a retreat before dark, as some of the troops had already begun to fall back towards the James River. Orders were given to push all the wagons under cover at a certain place, simultaneously with the commencement of the action. So the struggle began in right good earnest on the right, and then shifted to the left. Secesh appeared to have it all his own way till the proper time came, and then, to his surprise, he was marched back again, without orders from his superior officers, as if it was understood that they had gone far enough with the joke.

McClellan was there in person, and attended to their case himself. Our army would not budge an inch for them. The enemy could not understand this kind of retreating. Counter-marching back again, the right falls back, and then marches to the left. Secesh sees this and is exalted. He takes another swig at his canteen of whisky, (a thing which they are all well braced with, for canteens of whisky are found on all the killed and wounded,) tightens the straps around his legs, (for he has to be strapped, lest he fall out of the saddle,) and rushes forward on our lines head foremost, only to be mowed down by our left wing, that had marched to the place of the right. Of course, Jeff did not see this. He thinks he is following our retreating troops, but he finds his drunken army pitching on to advancing bayonets. They cannot stop. Onward they fling, like madmen, and once broken, they cannot be rallied. Secesh has found that McClellan has retreated far enough. The action was a magnificent one. When the rebel lines had been completely broken, and filled up by Smith, Corney, (sic) McCall, Sumner, and Meagher, with his Irish bayonets, the gunboats pitched into Fort Darling, and in about twenty minutes blew up the magazine of the Fort. It was a grand spectacle. Then turning on the flying foe, they hammered them back towards Richmond.

For a long time we were drawn up on a large plain covered with wheat ready for cutting, three miles each way. You could scarcely see a horse standing in it. In there were a hundred pieces of artillery and many regiments of cavalry, ready to pitch in and spill the rebel canteens.

But we were not wanted, so we had to stand there and listen. Every thing was cast off and ready for action, with our guns shotted. But our troops held their own and won, and the charges were withdrawn from the guns.

Night came, and we lay down by our guns in the wheat. This morning, though

The dew on our mantles hung heavy and chill,

we rose gaily to our posts, ready to go forward, as I understand the order.

Poor Easton was shot through the heart in Friday's fight. His cannoniers stuck to their guns till the rebel cavalry actually knocked the ammunition they were putting into them out of their hands. They took the battery and cried out to him to “surrender.” “Never!” was the reply, and in an instant he was knocked out of his saddle with a shower of bullets.

Lieutenant Monk, of McCarty's battery, and Dougherty, of Flood's, in Sunday's skirmish or fight, gave the enemy's cavalry a lesson in dismounting on the charge — unsaddling some two hundred of them. Many of them were strapped to their horses, and of course were dragged or fell with them. Altogether, it was a lively time for these batteries.

We were stationed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, guarding the railroad bridge. It was a laborious duty. Mr. Fagan, with two of my guns, I posted at Bottom's Bridge. In due time, the bridge was burned, and when the final order came to return, the train, which was composed of many cars and a locomotive, was fired and run into the river, as it contained a great deal of ammunition. It blew up, throwing fragments of the cars and locomotive thousands of feet into the sky. It was one of the grandest spectacles I may ever witness. We were within about fifteen hundred yards of it at the time. It must have astonished the secesh, who were constantly hovering around the bridge, with about five thousand troops and some artillery.

On Saturday they made a demonstration with their guns upon Mr. Fagan's section at Bottom's Bridge. I heard the firing and knew where they were. So, after Fagan gave them a few planters, I opened, along with a brass piece of Mr. Wilder's, from the railroad track, silencing them in five rounds. They were completely scared. Every shot told, and coming from a point not reckoned on, compelled them to respect Mr. Fagan's position and withdraw. It was inferred that this party had run out of whisky, for they “dried up” very soon. When the train was blown up, our artillery ceased firing, and was then ordered to James River to rejoin the corps. There is every reasonable appearance of a victorious entrance into Richmond soon.

James Brady, Captain First Pennsylvania Artillery.

1 known also as the battle of White Oak swamp and Charles City cross-roads.

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E. V. Sumner (8)
P. Kearney (6)
McCall (5)
J. A. Grover (5)
Edward K. Chandler (5)
Fagan (4)
William Sutherland (3)
Dan Sickles (3)
Samuel W. Owen (3)
Osborne (3)
Joseph Hooker (3)
James Carr (3)
Alvah J. Wilson (2)
Savage (2)
G. B. McClellan (2)
Robert Cowdin (2)
James Brady (2)
P. T. Wyman (1)
George E. Wright (1)
Isaac Williams (1)
J. T. Wilder (1)
Edwin P. Whitman (1)
Phillimon White (1)
George H. Wheeler (1)
Warren (1)
Francis A. Walker (1)
John Towle (1)
Thomas Thombs (1)
Thomas Strongman (1)
T. C. H. Smith (1)
J. C. Singer (1)
John Simon (1)
William Schouler (1)
John P. Ross (1)
William E. Rice (1)
Frederick Ran (1)
Julius A. Phelps (1)
L. A. Payson (1)
Parks (1)
John W. Nilling (1)
E. B. Nichols (1)
Monk (1)
William Monary (1)
Meagher (1)
C. McKeever (1)
Fernando McCrillis (1)
W. W. McCarty (1)
Thomas R. Mathers (1)
R. M. Maguire (1)
Charles S. Leonard (1)
William H. Lawrence (1)
John Kyle (1)
James E. Keeley (1)
Jeff (1)
Wesley Jackson (1)
Hurley (1)
William J. Hudson (1)
Conrad Herman (1)
Henry (1)
W. E. Haywood (1)
George H. Hanscom (1)
William B. Hall (1)
George H. Green (1)
Alexander Grant (1)
Alexander Gordon (1)
Charles H. Goodwin (1)
S. A. Goodhue (1)
Edwin Gilpatrick (1)
Daniel Garrity (1)
Foy (1)
Flood (1)
William J. Fleming (1)
H. Finnily (1)
Miles Farwell (1)
Easton (1)
Dougherty (1)
John Dolan (1)
Joseph Dickinson (1)
John O. Dea (1)
John R. Cudworth (1)
Crowell (1)
Corney (1)
David B. Copeland (1)
Timothy Connors (1)
William Clark (1)
Charles D. Cates (1)
Joshua M. Caswell (1)
William Carruth (1)
John Carney (1)
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