Today in History:

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


Oak Swamp Bridge just before midnight to learn whether our troops had retired.

All the reports received accompany this, and will give the names of those worthy of mention.

I annex a statement of the losses in General Hooker's division this day, but cannot of General Kearny's, as the casualties of this day and the next are blended. The aggregate is 951 for the two days, of which I believe the greater part occurred on the 30th of June.*

Respectfully submitted.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

General S. WILLIAMS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Headquarters Army of the Potomac.


Camp near Harrison's Bar, Va., July 24, 1862

GENERAL; I have the honor to report the operations of my corps at the battle of Malvern Hill and till their arrival at their present camp the next day:

On my arrival at Malvern Hill at 1.30 a.m. of the 1st of July, I met the commanding general on horseback and reported to him what had been done. He directed me to see General Barnard, chief engineer, and General Porter, commanding the Fifth Corps, and consult with them as to the position for the troops to occupy. I found them, but they were of the opinion that nothing could be done before daylight. As soon as it was light I saw General Barnard, and he rode out to make another examination of the ground. On his return he pointed to the direction where I was to post my troops. I gave the necessary orders, but before they could be carried out the commanding general returned, and I rode with him the whole circuit of the lines, leaving staff officers to place my two divisions in position-General Kearny's on the left, to connect with General Couch's right on the right of Kearny; General Hooker's division with General Sumner's corps on his right. It was near 10 a.m., when I returned via Haxall's to Malvern Hill. We now occupied a very strong position but lacked some 20,000 men to be certain of holding it against the superior force I feared would be brought against us.

Before my troops were all in position the rebels commenced an artillery fire, which we returned. Some of their shells exploded beyond the brick house on the hill and in the bottom beyond. This lasted about two hours. At 3.30 p.m. the attack was renewed with artillery and accompanied by infantry on the left of General Kearny, but principally on General Couch's division. By 5 p.m. this was repulsed. Later the attack was renewed on General Porter's front, extending to the right as far as General Kearny's, by artillery and infantry in large force. The firing continued until 9 p.m. The rebels were defeated with great slaughter.

During the afternoon large bodies of troops were seen passing along our front toward the right in the edge of the woods. They were several hours passing. They disappeared, however, without any further demonstration. They passed beyond the range of our field artillery .

Toward dusk General Porter sent to General Sumner for a brigade and battery of artillery. This was sent. I added another brigade and battery, to enable him to make the defeat more complete. I sent them, us it was now so late I did not anticipate any attempt on my right.


*See revised statement, p. 26.