Today in History:

55 Series I Volume XI-II Serial 13 - Peninsular Campaign Part II


in the afternoon. About that time the brigade of General Meagher came up and reported to me for duty. The different corps had already gained this new position when the enemy again made his appearance in our front, and immediately commenced opening with his artillery. This attack was opposed at first by the commands of General Franklin and Sedgwick, and at the order of General Sumner I detached parts of two of my brigades (General Caldwell's and Meagher's) to their assistance, also both of my batteries; soon after which I was directed by General Sumner to prepare with my remaining brigade (General French's) to real an attack from the front, toward which a heavy column of the enemy was reported to be moving. I was re-enforced on my right by one brigade of General Smith's, and I deployed in line of battalions the brigade of General French to the front, the remaining parts of the brigades of Generals and Meagher in the second and third line. The enemy was repulsed in his flank attack, but my front did not come into action.

Late at night I received an order to act as a rear guard with my division in covering the movement of the army across the White Oak Swamp, and also to take charge personally of the breaking up of the bridge across the creek, so as to make it impracticable for the passage of artillery. My march commenced about 1 o'clock on the 30th of June, and after marching until nearly daybreak in the morning, on coming up to the brigade I found the mass of stragglers from other parts of the army wedged in so as to be unable to move. I impressed them with the necessity of crossing as rapidly as possible or the enemy would be upon us and the rear of the army cut off. By the greatest exertions of myself and staff I succeeded in getting this mass over by sunrise and my own division, and the brigade was broken up and burned by about 10 o'clock a.m.

I was now directed by General Sumner to remain here until further orders, the division of General Smith being on my right and my own being at Glendale. Early in the afternoon, while our troops were resting, a heavy cannonade was opened by the enemy on the other side of the check from a hill partly covered by timber. It appeared to be some three batteries, and they all opened at once. My division stood firmly. The battery of Hazzard's exhausting its ammunition, the captain being wounded and many men and horses disabled, it was replaced by the battery of Captain Pettit, which kept up a continuous fire until night. After firing away all their ammunition these were now replaced by a battery of Franklin's division, which kept up a fire with two pieces until 12 o'clock at night, when I was ordered again to fall back to form the rear guard. Two of my brigades had been detached during the day, and I had only that of General French to cover the movement. The movement was again performed successfully, and during the next day my division was again placed in position at Malverton Hill, where I was again directed to detach two of my brigades to report to General Porter, leaving me with General French's brigade to again fall back in the night to Harrison's Landing, and brought off what remained of my division in good order.

During all these operations the patience, fortitude, and discipline of my division, both officers and men in general, showed conspicuously, and could not have been excelled.

Very respectfully,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Division.

Lieutenant KIP, Aide-de-Camp.