Today in History:

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


All the troops under my command were exposed to this artillery fire. In General Kearny's division only the artillery and skirmishers were immediately engaged. "Captain Thompson managed his battery with the full genius of that arm, whilst Captain Randolph with his Parrott guns persecuted all that attacked him, silencing several times batteries that were sweeping our front or covering their columns of attack on General Couch to our left." The Fourth Maine was particularly distinguished for its coolness in holding a ravine and repulsing the enemy's skirmishers.

In General Hooker's division the men behaved with their usual coolness. The batteries were so placed that they were enabled

several times to enfilade the enemy's artillery and infantry advance. We have to deplore the loss of Captain Beam, a most gallant officer, commanding one of the batteries. He was killed by a shell.

Captain De Russy, my chief of artillery, was quite distinguished. It was through his good management and personal attention that the batteries sent to the left later in the day were so effective.

Quite late in the afternoon a staff officer from the commanding general informed me that we might fall back to another position farther down the river in the course of the night. At 10.50 p.m. I received orders to move in rear of General Couch's division. Before the road was clear for the leading brigade of my corps it was 3.40 a.m., and the rear did not leave till daylight.

Soon after daylight a heavy rain set in, seriously injuring the road, but early in the day all the troops reached their camps.

My whole corps made to the camp at Harrison's Bat without the loss of a single wagon. Our reported loss in missing is but 745, and of this number a portion of killed and wounded were left on the battle-fields and some have since come in. To show the endurance and fortitude of the troops, the Seventh and Eighth New Jersey Regiments did not lose a man in the whole march. Of these regiments one had 8 stragglers, of whom 3 were wounded. They have all since come in. The Seventh New Jersey did not have a field officer present. Captain Bartlett, Company C, commanded, with 1 captain, Frederick Cooper, and 3 lieutenants, Hillyer and Mullery, of Company K, and ---, of Company C.

At Savage Station we received orders to reduce our baggage. We left our tents for the wounded and the officers part of their personal baggage. This enabled me to place 500 pounds of ammunition in each wagon for the reserve artillery of the corps. Captain De Russy made good use of it at Malvern Hill.

All the troops were exposed for several hours to a continuous fire of shells which they bore with unflinching courage. Those exposed to the infantry fire behaved with their usual gallantry.

General Sickles' brigade was sent late in the day to aid General Porter's command. How well it was done is well set forth in the general's report. The conduct of Colonel Taylor's regiment, the Seventy-second New York Volunteers, was brilliant.

The officers of my staff performed their duties with their usual promptitude and energy. Dr. Milhau did all it was possible to do under our peculiar circumstances. Captain Weeks, assistant quartermaster, Captain McKelvy, chief commissary, and Lieutenant Dresser, ordnance officer, attended faithfully to the duties of their respective departments. To them I am indebted for the safety of every wagon, for ample supplies of provisions, and that the reserve ammunition was on the field at the