Today in History:

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


Kearny's on the left. I received from General Hooker an order to push the line forward on the Williamsburg road, but as my command did not extend to that point was unable to comply. Soon after three regiments of Palmer's brigade formed a line in front of the New York regiments. As this line overlapped my three companies I withdrew them, placing the left of the Seventh Massachusetts in the precise position I had occupied.

I was then ordered to take my three companies and join the force first sent to the left. I found that it needed only two companies to establish a sufficient line between Blaisdell's left and Kearny's right, and I held the five companies remaining as a support to hold a wood road in which my left rested. Unable to ascertain where this road led to, I sent a scouting party up it to find out. They soon came upon an open space, in which the enemy was forming a line of three regiments for an attack. Supposing this too be intended for our position I sent to say so, and that if made we should need help upon that road. The attack was made, however, upon Kearny's line, farther to the left. The enemy broke through, and we heard them sweeping by our left flank and to our rear. The Seventh New Jersey coming we formed a strong line of battle, and with them and the Sixty-third Pennsylvania Reserve I waited. General Kearny soon appeared on the left with re-enforcements, driving the enemy before him, and we held the line until relieved.

Officers and men were all that could be desired-steady and courageous. Adjutant Hall left a sick bed to come to the front when he heard we were engaged.

My list of casualties-1 killed and 10 wounded-has already been sent in.

I am, captain, with respect, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Vols.


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Camp near James River, July 4, 1862

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on June 29 this regiment broke camp at Fair Oaks, marched to the second line of intrenchments, and formed in line of battle on the right of intrenchments in the woods; were exposed to artillery fire without casualty for some hours; then marched through White Oak Swamp. June 30 were drawn up in line of battle on the left of the Quaker road. McCall, who was in front, became engaged about 3 o'clock. The engagement was progressing with considerable vigor, ad McCall seemed to be holding his own when suddenly he gave way, and the attack fell upon our own lines. Owing to the nature of the ground I could bring the fire of but one company to bear upon the enemy, who struck our lines some rods to the right of my position. This company delivered a rapid and telling fire, which was returned, but the return fire all went over. The enemy was soon beaten back from that point, and the battle raged farther along the right.

I was then ordered by General Hooker to take my regiment out of line and clear the open space between the wood held by the enemy and