Today in History:

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


line in front of our earthworks. Before arriving at this place they found the enemy in such force that it was deemed imprudent to attack him, and the regiment fell back into the woods and awaited his approach. After a severe skirmish the enemy was repulsed with considerable loss. In the battle at Savage Station my brigade formed the second line, and was not engaged.

On the afternoon on Monday, the 30th, the brigade was exposed to a severe artillery fire at White Oak Swamp while supporting the batteries of Captains Hazzard and Pettit, and lost several in killed and wounded.

Between 5 and 6 o'clock the same afternoon I was ordered forward to support General Kearny, who was engaged in a severe battle at Nelson's Farm. We moved forward at double-quick, and arrived on the ground in the hottest of the fight. I formed three regiments on the right of the road and the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers on the left. The Fifth New Hampshire and the Seventh New York, beyond a first volley, were not engaged. The enemy's fire had nearly ceased in their immediate front and darkness soon came on. The Seventh New York was soon withdrawn. The Fifth New Hampshire was advanced to within a few paces of the enemy, and there remained until withdrawn, about 1 o'clock a.m. of Tuesday, the 1st.

The Sixty-first New York, Colonel Barlow, formed behind a fence on the border of an open field at the right of the wood. Other regiments were firing into the open field from behind this fence.

After stopping the fire of the other regiments the Sixty-first, without firing a shot, charged over the fence and through the open field, driving the enemy in such haste and confusion before them that they abandoned their colors which were picked up by Colonel Barlow. On approaching the woods on the farther side of the open field the Sixty-first opened fire upon the enemy in the woods, which was vigorously returned. After the firing had continued for some time I ordered the Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers to relieve the Sixty-first New York. Both regiments continued firing until their ammunition was nearly exhausted, when they took position on the right of the field near the fence, where they remained until withdrawn, about 1 a.m. of Tuesday.

In this engagement both these regiments behaved with the greatest gallantry, particularly the Sixty-first New York, which lost

one-third of its men engaged and 6 out of 9 officers. Colonel Johnson, of the Eighty-first, was wounded in the thigh.

On the morning of Tuesday, July 1, the brigade was formed in line of battle at Malverton, being assigned its position by Captain Irwin, of General McClellan's staff. Here we were exposed to a severe artillery fire of the enemy, which killed and wounded several of my men. About the middle of the afternoon I moved my whole brigade to the support of General Couch's division, and while lying in reserve was again exposed to a violent artillery fire.

Between 5 and 6 o'clock p.m. the brigade came into action, the Fifth New Hampshire supporting a battery on the right and the three other regiments engaging the enemy's infantry. The Fifth New Hampshire remained supporting a battery until withdrawn on the morning of the 2nd. The Sixty-first New York and Eighty-first Pennsylvania I consolidated, and placed under Colonel Barlow. They engaged the enemy on the extreme right of General Couch's line, being drawn up in an open field, while the enemy were posted in the edge of a wood. These regiments, under the able command of Colonel Barlow, fought most