Today in History:

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


I had no fears of the force we had just defeated so signally, but of the fresh troops they could bring up against our worn-out men.

Shortly after dark I heard that General Franklin was retiring. The right of my troops being so far in advance, and my being without orders, I could not believe it. Soon after General Seymour came and assured me that it was so. I sent Lieutenant Hunt, of my staff, to entreat him to hold on until I could hear from the commanding general, as I expected to do so every moment. Lieutenant Hunt returned, and reported that when he got there General Franklin's troops had already left; that three regiments of General Naglee's brigade were drawn up a short distance from the White Oak Swamp Bridge, waiting for the return of the general. It was now 12 o'clock, and I could not wait any longer. General Slocum was at my headquarters, waiting for me to decide what to do, he having also hear that General Franklin was leaving. We arranged for his division to leave immediately, to be followed by General Kearny's and then by General Sumner's. It was necessary for us to move promptly, as the enemy were busily engaged repairing the bridges, and would soon be enabled to cross in force on our rear. I hastened to General Sumner's headquarters, and informed him of what had been done. He concurred with me, and sent a note to the commanding general with the information. I then took the road and reached Malvern Hill at 1.30 a.m., and reported to the commanding general. Soon after daylight both of my divisions were on Malvern Hill.

I cannot speak too warmly of the gallantry displayed by General Hooker and his division. Special mention is made of General Grover, the First Massachusetts, Sixteenth Massachusetts, Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania, Second New Hampshire, and Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Regiments. The colors captured by Captain Park, Company F, Second New York Volunteers, had "Williamsburg" and "Seven Pines" on them, and belonged to the Seventeenth Virginia Volunteers. They were sent to General Sumner's headquarters. This same company captured 1 lieutenant-colonel, 1 captain, 5 lieutenants, and 30 to 40 privates.

General Kearny showed his usual gallantry and activity. The portion of his division engaged behaved most gallantly.

The first of the attack fell on General Robinson's brigade, and continued five hours. General Robinson was particularly distinguished. Captain Thompson's battery was conspicuous from the admirable manner in which it was served. It was most admirably supported by Colonel Hays, with the Sixty-third Pennsylvania and half the Thirty-seventh New York. Attention is called to General Kearny's report of this part of the action. I gladly add my commendation.

General Caldwell's brigade, sent by General Sumner, rendered valuable aid; also General Taylor's New Jersey brigade, volunteered by General Slocum. My thanks are due to both these officers for the promptness with which they gave this assistance.

General Berry and his brigade behaved with their usual gallantry. Special attention is called to Major Fairbanks, who commanded the Fifth Michigan and was dangerously wounded. The Twenty-fourth New York Volunteers, only 200 men, led by Lieutenant Greenhalgh, one of General Berry's aides, captured a stand of colors.

I neglected to mention in the proper place that Captain Randolph, who commanded a battery is highly commenced.

My staff, as usual, performed their duties to my satisfaction. Captain McKeever, chief of staff, was active in communicating orders to the left at a critical moment, and Lieutenant Hunt especially, in going to White