Today in History:

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


record at my hands, and from that consideration only I made mention of your command. This record must stand as it is, because it is true of your and it is just of mine. I shall never refer to it again except in vindication of what I have stated.

Very truly, your friend.


Major-General, Commanding

Camp near Harrison's Landing, James River, Va., July 18, 1862

CAPTAIN: After withdrawing from Glendale our march was continued to the Malvern Hills without interruption, and about 10 o'clock a.,m. my division was established in line of battle for the defense of our new position. Under a heavy fire of the enemy's artillery Grover's brigade was strongly posted on the right, Carr's on his left,and well sheltered. Subsequently Sickles' brigade, held in reserve, was posted in rear of my right, protected from the enemy's shots, and well in hand to re-enforce any part of my lines. Osborn's and Beam's batteries occupied higher ground, where they could reply to the enemy's artillery, or open upon his columns of infantry should he attempt to advance. Webber's and Bramhall's batteries were located in rear of these, and held in reserve.

During the remaining part of the forenoon a brisk fire was kept up between the artillery, principally on the part of the enemy without any decided effect, as far as could be discovered, on either side, the distance being about 1,500 yards. I regret, however, to state that it was in this artillery skirmishing that the gallant chief of the Fourth New Jersey Regiment [Second New Jersey Battery], Captain Beam, fell from a shell which pierced his body. About 3 o'clock this firing was resumed with more activity in the direction of Kearny's left. This exposed the rebel batteries to an enfilanding fire from my position,a direct one from Kearny, and a diagonal one from several other batteries, which soon resulted in driving the rebel gunners from their pieces. Prior to this a heavy column of infantry had been seen passing to my right, which disappeared behind the forests in my front, and were not heard from again that afternoon. On the left an attack was made in great force, and the battle lasted until long after dark.

About half an hour before sunset orders were sent me by General Sumner* to dispatch a brigade of my command to the assistance of General Porter, and immediately General Sickles' brigade moved to that point.

For a full account of the important services it rendered on the left I respectfully call the attention of the major-general commanding the corps to the report of its chief, herewith inclosed. I will especially invite his attention to that part of the report which relates to the brilliant conduct of Colonel Taylor's regiment, the Seventy-second New York Volunteers. The loss sustained by that regiment is the truest index of its services.

The First and Third Brigades were not engaged during the day, and remained in their position until near morning, when orders were received to march in the direction of Harrison's Landing.


*Sent by my orders.-S. P. H.