Newspaper Page Text
JOSEPH K.DAYISS0, MEMPHIS, WEDNESDAY, JULY 9, 1862. 530830 Editor and Proprietor. ' 4 I UNION APPEAL tflU, be published Every "morning, (Monday ex . epted, by JOSEPH S, DAYISSOX, A t the " Appeal" building, on Union Street, between Main" and Frdnt Streets. ..'' J '.' TERJISi " One copy, one year ;..v.. . ..-J8 oo Single copies can be procured at the office, envel rd, at five cents each. The Trade .arid Newsboys iuppied,on liberal term. J I j Dally Rates of Advertising. For one square, of ten fines or s, one insertion ... '. 1 00 For each additional insertion of same : 50 Local notices 20 cents per line. l i I - 1 I -ni; 4 ( .5 t m) 8 UOj lo OUf li 6uj la U4 00 ! t 4 V)i 6 wj 7 A.),' ft Wl 00115 UOilS 75!2'J 6J 37 60 ! f 7"ao,liftU'6ij7T OOjZO 0:i5 00M1 l!o;a7 62 50 . . 1 1 Vl!l75rii"iTiri-rt !W 0u37 W 7S0U t:l.i li;i4-(4il7 Ul;21 lH9Ji Ui: nOiii Adt fct 'A iM 5jlWU fidgl 00(2 uu;5 00j3 75)62 64 it? J f 1 1 i OojlH lOjldit OiTi f'iB2 IKMW OOifitt 00158 60 100 US jl3 50,18 00123 fcdf-r f);8 HOUS uOjofi 2S7 uilTM5e M". ui.ijMH. 2 lacstt VTo Mi ;.'. !M'ti OOiTn iH-li5(iO THE BATTLES OF MCHHOm THE WOK. ST VIEW OF TiiK CASK. Craiu th'Cineiuns'i Cummrrswl, sib ins! J . Jam is Bivbr, Va., ""): - Tudty Evening, July 1st, 18G2 . )h, friind, could you realize the mic tions of the past five day?, you could a i most Bhed tears of blood. Said n noble and gallant soldier, whoso visage, was wan, whose voice was tremulous - with inexpre-sible emotion, whewe beard was matted with hisown precious blood the eriiuMm drop were trickling from his wound' even then "Oh! my friend, it ia horrible, horrible! to see this proud army ro wretchedly pressed upon evury side desiru6-' ' tion threatening wherover we turn ; scarje a hope of extrication savu thtt which is born of despair. "It is horrible" ana the devoted loldier who had faced the foe all day and far into the night -which had passed, turned into , the forest to bid hi manly grief. Iid you sten his worn and bayard warriors plunged wearily on the soil around him, begriinmod with sn.oke, and some of tUeru stained with biood, and had you known that an hour later those brave men, already exhausted with long Ighting and weary marching, would te sum moned again to deadly combat, you, too, would bave echoed my noble friend. ; With all his weariness and all hU deep distress of mind, hU sword was flashing deliance again at the breast of the foe beforo the sun rode highest in the empyrean. Oh, the gloomy countenances ami anx ious hearts of those t'.ark days. Would to God such days had parsed Away forever.; Ou my country men, you canuot comprehend the toils and trials of your deroted soldiers durinjj IhoM) du of murderously unequal Combat conflict not limply -witbiprur nuirnw tlis ;iplined soldiery but contention against in tidioua thirst, craving : appetite, enfeebling heat, overpowering fatigus and alter lighting und marching, and privations by day, ud suf fering by eight, and fighting by days euoceed ing nighti of fighting and .httrrao-sui vigils, againtit fresh forces burled upon .them in 1 overpowering mae, till evhausted nature klmoat sunk beneath such fearful visitations, to be pressed to the imminent verge of dupair. was almost too much for hunrin nature to en dure. Oh what a glorious spirit of devctRh to country, that inspires , men to conquer such distress. I tell you, people, the soldiers of jour army have won tiule lo iwuwrtality. Whatever f;u.e. belido them, their children's children may proudly boast, "Our fathers nero cftha Army of the totouoao.',! ; p ) r; The soil of Virginia, noweacred. It is bathed with the reddest blood of thw broad land. Every rol of it, from.. Upper jUhicka- hominy U) the baeo . of Alaiveni iliil, wcrim- soned with the blood of your brave, brethren. The dark forests titling canopy for such wo lul (acriflee echo wi.h the wttils-of wounded und dying men. There is a bloody corpse in very cope and mangled soldiers in -every thicket of that ensanguined field, tilde by ide they lie and disjrUndly with the mis guided foe whom they to lately lought. . God ouly knows how many of the weary . ones, plunged headlong into the shade of thotso gloomy pines for a brief respite froru the pres--sure ol war's irou heel, who lie thoro now to slt-ep the sleep that knows no waking. But while I write these linos the foe presses hard. ,-Our soldiers turn their bre.-istj t the steel. Their backs are upon the river. Oh God shall " ihi'v not utand where thi-y now fight sternly There is a recird f ftorro w it is miftenod, 'loo, by gnat pride, ft be made how your brtahren watched and pressed the ememy for f month?,' and how their leader beggtd and f wa iiot relieved for power to conquer; ov '- Jaf aftir day they fought and bled can you ' forget Fair Oak, and the weeks of watching : 'nd fighting in view of the spire wi lUcli- mond? bow they fought" and conquered 'd - Wednesday I st ; how they foulit and wou o IV.urs'da ; bow they ri!.ted and bout back tte gn-nt surging tide of the iia on Friday, but at last, after deeds of beroi.-ui, they were comjcllfd lo yield to oTerwhelrning power; ai.d how on Saturday, and Sunday, ai.d Mon day and Tuesday they marohed and suffered, add fought, as if every soldier had tbe soul i f a hero ia his frame, until tt last when nature's energies almoi exhaust counseled with their fears they still stood . staggering but unconquerable, and met the summons to tight as if it were.it privilege to be epjoyeo!. These ere , seenes to move the strongest heart, lisit :oh bow cruel, friends, that; such brave souls should be pres-ed alnut to the very brink of ruin. ; -i'licy stool . up still, with want pressing them,, with fatigue crush ing ibem, nd at every summons to tbe field th-y followed the old flag with cheers, like i . I. i . tv I 1 1 1 luusoDgs oi uout. inure was a moral uero- ibiii uifl'inveu. uy iuwo wwu men mat WHrHin. MMHMnri tr niwt nri ttttAjiirit rrn I... L. - . ' . I ' . . ;.i 1 - 1 : 1 uiuko our uuaorj pages tuuie wuu spieuuiu lustre. ; , . But the record. '"With "such feeble power as a c troubles, than the labor of a pigmy" with the works of Hercules J" shall attempt the task. It will be necessary, however, to carry you ever tbe field and present the salient points in advance. ; ' - Tne Sitaatlon. f You remember that tbe army was pressin bard upon Richmond. Every communication t j the press assured you that it was not strong 1 can exert, after nirhts of sleep.essness General Fitz John Pm-tBi-'a r.rr nncUtin nf nddajsof fasting and hardships, no more Morell's division of volunteers, and Sykes' jiui arable ihouih. with our weary- soldier's ! regulars, some 5000 tron. inrrr1 Wftir. enough to execute the la-k. For weeks the ympton of insufficiency tf power manifestly increasfcd But the Army" pressed so closely upon Richmond it could not be withdrawn without great peril. Gen. McClelian was committed to ' do all be culd" with what be , i X&d, while he hoped for aid. If tbe enemy did not reinforce he might accomplish his aim. So the work was pressed, while the people clamored that it was slow. The right wing, consisting of ilcCall's, ilorrel's and Sykes' divisions, loss t hart-25 00- strong;- was well po-ted on the left bank of the Chiekahominy,' from Beaver Dam Creek to a point below New Bridge. Several military bridges fjrmed the avenues of communication between the two portions of th army separated by the river. Tbe center,' consisting of .Smith's, Sedgwick's and Richardson's divisions, stretched in line i f i battle from Goiding'i, ou the banks of the livtr, to a point south of the xorKtowro rail road. , The left wing, cop.1i5tir.g- of Hooker's. Kearney's and - Couch's -divisions, stretched from Richardson's left to a point considerably south of' the Wil liams burg stags road, on the borders of White Oak 6w;ujip. The whole line was protected by strong breastworks and redoubts.' The necessary extent of the line left but few troops for supports. Casey's (now J'eck's) sadly reduced division guarded Bottom Bridge, the railway bridge, "and were assigned to ether similar duty.' Qiif line of battle on the right bank of the Chickahorniny, as I have informed y ju, pres;id so closj to the rebe'; lines that noitaer could udvance a regiment outside of their respective breajtvt-rks without pro Totin balUe.. ' , ."."" ' On Wednesday", June C3tb, Gen. McClelian wade the first distinctly offensive movement, by directing Gen. Ilooker to take up an ad vanoed position on F.-ir Oaks Farm, near the Williamsburg road. It provoked a h:irp re sistance, which ' we overcrme,' and accom plished our ol ject." It is necessary to note this fact . parilcuUrl Imcause it bears strongly upon the 'question, .whether Gen. McClelian bad then distinctly contemplated changing bis base of operations to James river a perilous thing ty attempt before: moreso now that we L were stillnearertho enemy," It was pronouncet an " important achievement by Gen. JicCiel lan himself, because it yave him advantaares oyer the rebel position which he bad .not en- joyca oeiore. , oome lime uaring ice nignt, however, tidings were received of a movement of Stonewall Jackson on our right wing. It was deemed, liHzardous t maintain the advant geeof tbeprevKHis day, uud the line was ordered to resume ft . Id vpositiuni Thursday after noon the anticipated attack upou our right wing was "made, 'and handsomely reputed; but it whs , 'discovered that it had not beeii niadt3 by Jackson's command. Information. received that Jackson was sleeping down the Pamunkey, probably lo capture military stores at White House, to cutjulT our coin mu nieutioits with otir water base, and menace our rear. Orders were given ul once to destroy all pubiic roperty -At White House and evacuate that point. Matters began to assume a criti cal appearance, and danger culminated in the d-eaiter of Friday," It wJ then fully deter mined to change tha -baseof operations to James river." I', seems to me this was com pulsory. vThe- enemy had; tuaed iiur right, evidently outnumbered us in grcnt dipio por tion, was too strong in front for us to break through, and was in position to crush us iu front and, rear- and, perhaps, intended to strike on our left flank." Apparently his army was numerous enough for that grand combi nation. The great retrograde movement was really commenJed Friday evening, by the trausler of headquarters from Trent's Bluffs to Savage station, but the grand exodus did not commence until Saturday, and did not swell into full proportions till nightl'al. of that day. The history of that movement will follow in due course. - The reader being supposed "to be familiar with the war map, 'will now follow the course pursued by the army. In order to preservo the morals of the army as far as possible, and obtain supplies of ammunition and subsistence, it was determined to carry through all the wagons loaded, and the ambulance train making a mighty caravan vastly increased by artillery trains. There was but one narrow road to pursue." ; it struck almost dae south, from the AVilliamsburg road, through White Oak Swamp to tbV Charles ' City road, into which it debouched about eighn miles from Turkey Bend in James liiver. The course then lay up the latter road towards Richmond, where it struck a little south-west by the Qua ker "road, - which terminated in .New Market road, leading from Richmond. The river was but a short distance sonth, and Malvern Hill ft beautiful, lofty bluff overlooking the river and commanding tbe surrounding eontry, being our goal. Although there was bat a sin gle road with slight exception it had the advantage of coursing through White1 Oak Swamp, upon which we might rely in some degree for protection of our flanks. There Was great danger that the inemy tui'ht cut us off by moving columns down the Vbarle' City, Central, or New Market ronds, orall three, but these chances were necessarily accepted. Gen. McClelian actei upon the supposition that the enemy would not guess his determination until he was able to ueteat their movements. AtU events, it was the only hopeful course, because the enemy was watching for him on the left Lank ol the cnicEanomiu v. i us rod wa3 a rrarrew funnel for such a mighty torrent of trains and men, but fortunately it was smooth nd dry. In order to (make the movement suc cessfully, it was necessary to fight at the out s.tf, because ifc whs morally certain f that our line of battle could not be withdrawn from the font without liueking the enemy after them to that dno pr? paranons - wert niade. xb events wilt no at be recorded in their.'order, with as much of the spirit ot the perilous en- terpiise thrown-into the sketch as! have time to engraft. The affair at Fair Oaks farm was the real beginning of. tbe dreary drama. You will hod a description of it in another letter. Tbe ilechauicsvilJe battle was tbe second act which you will now read: ; Tbe Battle of BleebaaieavUle W hen 1 closed my last communication, (26th ult.,) ft neroe battle was raging on the left bank of the Chiekahominy, on the east side of Beaver Dam Creek. Our extreme right wing, consisting of McCalf s Pennsylva nia Reserves, 8500 strong, with hve batteries, were strongly entrenched there in admirable i positron i- defn- Information. lfirliri! deiense. information, i . . . . . . . 1 . . . . 1 ( uI8 r)gnt Had been received during Wednes i day night, and we were as well prepared for j resistance as our limited forces would admit. regulars, some 5000 strong, increased by yea's Zouaves, was posted near New Bridge, within supporting distance. General Sione- j man had also been sent to Old Church, with I regiment of cavalry and two of infantry, aa I corps of observation and to check flanking movements r or, - possioie to aecoy the en emy down the ramun-.ey. At about noon. powerful corps of the enemy, consisting of uen. a. v uurs, n. tt. um a, liongstreet and Anderson's divisions then supposed to b Jackson's force under comma?!.! of Mjr General Robert E. Lee, crossed the river at Mechanicsville Bridge, Madpw Bridge, and at Atlee's, and between one and two o'clock attacked our flank. Two regiments of Head's brigade, ( McCall's division.) were in reserve, and one on picket duty. They did rot at any time fully engage tbe enemy. Gen. Reynolds' brigade held tie right, and Seymour's the left. The fight was opened with artillery, at longTange, but the enemy, finally discovering our superiority ii this arm, foreshortened th Tahe and came into close conflict. He was evidently 'provoked at his own inefficiency, since his "shell were not destructive in our en trenchments, while our gunners played upon his exposed ranks with fearful effect. The fight saemed to increase in fury as it progressed, and it finally became the nio.U terrific artillery combat of the war. I bad been, accustomed for months to the incessant roar of beavy guns, but until that period I had faiiel to comprehend the terrible sublim ity of a great battle with field pieces. The uproar was incessant and deafening for hours. At times it seemed jis if fifty guns exploded simultaneously, and then ran off at intervals into splendid Jile firing if I may apply in fantry descriptive terms to cannonading. But no languagj can describe its awtul grandeur. The enemy at last essayed a combined move ment. Powerful bodies of -troops plunged into the valley to charge our lines, but our men, securely posted, swept them away ruthlessly Again and again , the despernt follows were pushed at the breastworks, only i be more cruelly slaughtered than before. Meantime our force had been strengthened by Griffin's brigade, which increased the volume of in fantry firw, and .Martiudale s brigade came up to be ready for emergencies. At dark it was evident that the rebels hud enough much more than they bargained for. Their infuaitry fire bad entirely subsided, and it was obvious that they were withdrawing under coVer of their artillery. Our own bat teries wnich bad opened in full .ry at the start had not slackened an instant Compre hending the situation fully now, the cannon iers plied themselves with tremendous energy to punish tbe retreating foa. We have no sure means" to determine how many were slaughtered, but. prisoners who were in the fight, arid an intelligent contraband who es caped from Richmond tbe next day, and who was over the battle field, are confident that three thousand fell. Our own loss was eighty killed and less than one hundred and fifty wounded. The conduct of our troops was admirable, and the gallantry of the officers conspicuous. Gen. McCiellau was not in the battle, but was at Gen. Porter s heudquarters until it terminated. It was nw ascertained from prisoners that Stonewall Jackson had not joined Le. Hence it was interred that he was aweeping down the banks of the Pamunkev to sieze the public roperty, and cut off our retreat in that direc tion. Gen. Stoneman s command was moved swiftly down to watch operations there, and orders were issue4 for the removal or destruc tion of all public stores at White House. , The situation, apparently placed on the surface, de velopod a troubled underenrrent. Gan. Mc- Cleilan directed Gen. McCall to fall back and take a new position in front of our military bridges to resist an attack which was antici pated next day (Friday). It was thought if the enemy was not successfully repulsed he could bo drawn across cur bridges upon our own terms, wberehooould. be roughly bandied. j ho command was given to Gen. Fitz, John Porter, who controlled the troops already men tioned supported by a powerful traiu of ar tillery, regular and volunteer. Meant imo all the trains ana fequipasre ot the ight wing were withdrawn to Trent's Bluff, on the right bank ot the river, during the night, and our wounded, were conveyed to the" hospital at Savage Station to ba deserted, alas, to the enemy they had beaten. "All these facts indicated danger. But other evidences of it were not wanting. Preparations far It e new el Conflict. By daylight, Friday morning, Gen. McCall had fallen back in tbe rear of Gaines' Mill, and n front of Woodburry's Bridge, where he was posted, his left joining the right of Butterfield's brigade, resting in the woods and near the swamps of Chiekahominy. Morell was on his right, is the center, and Gen. Sykes, com manding 5000 regulars, and Duryea s Zouaves held the extreme right the line occ-ipying crests of hills near the' New Kent road, some distance eat by south of Gaints' Mills. X portion of the position was good; b"ut judicious generalship might have found a "better, and especially it might have been amended by posting the left fbrnlr tipon a tfamp which was impassable beyond peraiventure. Be sides, the line was so disposed that it was next to impossible to use our artillery advantage ously the very firm In which we enjoyed un doubted superiority. Nothing dehnite had ytt been heard of the enemy, but it was as sumed that " he would appear stronger than yesterday. Accordingly, Gen.Slocum's divi sion (about 8000 strong) was moved across the river, te support . .rortsr, although it was deemed hazardous in consequence of an im pending attack along our whole front. But there was no alternative; Gen. McClelian had ouly so much material, and it vfas imperative that he should use it according to unavoidable necessity. Thus far I carry the reader in this history. The story of the battle is narrated by a friend," whom' I bad intrusted the risrht wing to secure the benefits of a division of labor, lie writes of the ' " Battle ot Gaines'. Alii, Jnn 37tu. The battle openod - about . one o'clock by skirmishing, particularly in front of Griffin's brigade, near .the mill, and by an artillery at tack lrom the battery planted wa th8 orchard near the Gaines House. The enemy felt our position rapiily, and along the wbole line at the same time, showing that he was in full. force. . By two o'clock there had been several conflicts between opposing regiments, without any particular result, save that our men stead fasti v maintained their line. About this time Gen. Griifin'a brigade, .whose front was cov ered by - Berdan's sharpshooters, advanced through, to the edge of the woods toward Gaines' "mill, and made the first important opening of the DaiUo. 1 no enemy at once replied. I he 9 th Massachusetts, Col. Cass, i strong and brave regiment, with the 4th Mich igan and 14th New York, bad the principal position. " Ihefczj Pennsylvania took position on the extreme right, where the enemy ap peared very strong. eeden a Rhode Island Battery, from position in rear of the woods pliedshell and solid shot with accuracy and eflect.. lhis was the earliest collision between "our forces and the enemy. Un ta Ulgbt. , The action immediately-began with vigor on tha extreme right, hel i by Gen. bytte di vision, composed of Gen. Warner', Colonel Euehanan'8 and Col. Chapman's brigades, These brigades supported Weed s, .hdward i and Tidhali's batteries, all regulars. The enemy attactted very fiercely, charging re peasediy, but were as often repulsed. Ob the Left. Tbe enemy delayed their assault upon our left for some time, though Martindale'i bruve fallows, who were exceedingly well posted, gave them several v ry destructive volleys, winch caused them to recoil with shattered columns up over' tha hill, down which they bid advanced. A brilliant epi sode occurred on the left of M-trtindale's Brigade, whre the 13th New York, and the fire proof and scarred veterans of th 21 Maine were posted. A brigade of Alabara ians, moved up over the crest of a hill in splendid style; ever steady and resolute, wrth arms at right shoulder shift, ready for a charge. u up and at them," was the word along our line, and the two regiments which had lain concealed in the low growth if tim ber in ibe valley, sprang lo their feet, and one piercing, terrible, volley of death-dea&ng ininnies was poured into the ranks of the Confident enemy. " "The grey coats tied ia -terror and dismay, discharging only n few random shots. The range was 6o close that the whites of the eyes of the rebels could almost be distinguished. The hill was cleared as though swept by a hurrieane. One of tb regiments Jeft their colors and battla 'flag upon the field. Tbe regimental color was secured by Col. Roberts, of the 2d Maine, and the battle flag by Capt. Sulltvmi of the 13th New York, who followed the rtreKting ememy and secured it. Capt. Sullivan found the field literally covered with the rebel dead, there beine over eighty near the spot whre th colors fell. BuUerfUld'a Brigade. The gallant m. n of the famous Light Bri gade, as already stated, had the important po sition of the extiemti left of our line Their right rested. near the New Bridge road, and their left extended into the woods, joining Martinuale's right. They were somewhat sheltered by a ditch fence, and when in posi tion looked up the hill through an open field, ou Uie top of which the enemy took position. They formed in iiuc of battle, the 44th New York supported by the 16th Michigan, and the 831 Pensylvaitia by the 12th New York The 17th New York, of this brigale, as noted elsewhere, had been sent on special duty to another point. Allen s Massachusetts battery took up a position on the right of the brigade ai.d battered the enemy fiercely. At Three O'elack, The actiou had become general along tbe whoie line. Stonewall Jackson's column had formed a junction wi,h Lee and soon attacked our right with great vigor and pertinacity, but he met a galling fire from Edwards', Martin's and Weed in batteries, which sent him reel ing back in disorder. Again ho gathered his columns, supported them by fresh trcops,again advanced, extending his lines as if to flank our right, and renewed the attack with greater terocity than ever, to be again repulsed with terrible slaughter, by keir Regulars, and War rea's brigade, in which are tbe Duryea Zou aves, nd Bendix s 10th New lorfe regiment, played a brilliant part in this portion of the engagement, the Zouaves especially fighting with a desperation and tenacity only to be ex pected from such superior men. They suf fered largely, their peculiar uniform being the especial mark of ten ihou-and rebel soldiers. The Flank Movement Of the enemy against our right did not suc ceed. W e extended our line at the same time, an4 when Jackson was repulsed the third time, he withdrew from that part of the field and did not renew the attempt. Ob tbe Center. The tactics of the enemy were soon appar ent. It was in massing troops and making sudden onslaughts on this, and then on that portion of our columns, by which he expected to break the.r somewhere, and defeat if not rout us. His next movement was against our center. Part of Jackson's column, reinforced by a large body front Hill's division, now made a desperate onset agaiBst the center, the North Carolina regiments being placed in front, and literally compelled to fight. Here the conflict was long and bloody, and raged for nearly two hours with great violence. The columns surged backward and forward, first one yield- n' and then the other. An idea of tbe great magnitude of this portion of the fight mav be obtained, when I say that this part of the line was successively reinforced by McCall s re serves, tue brigades or uens. Newton, kjoi. Bartlett ard Col. Taylor, of Slocum's division; and it was not until the last fresh brigade was hurled against them that they were beaten back. In this part of the engagement we took about fifty prisoners, who said that in just that part of the engagement tne entire force of LongUreet's and Hill's divisions, and a part of Jackson's columns participated. Probably the most desperate fighting of the day took place upon this part of our lines and at this time. Here it was that we suffered our heaviest losses, and the field presented a most sangui nary hue. . i Tbe fighting was principally done by mus ketry, a thick pine woods intervening be tween our batteries and the enemy pre venting the former from getting the range of the latter. Many of our regiments suffered here to the extent of one-third of their men.. But neiu-ly all of them stood their ground with firmness, behaving most gallantly.- Particu larly was this the case with the Ninth Massa chusetts, the Fourth Michigan, the Fourteenth New lor, Grithn s brigade; tha H inety-Fifth Pennsyvania, of Gen. Newton's Brigade; and the Sixteenth New lork, of Col. Jfjartlett Brigade. The Sixty -second Pennsylvania, of Griffin's Brigade, met an overwhelming force of the enemy, who took them on the flank, and, after a desperate resistance, they suc ceeded in repulsing the regiment, killing the Colonel, Samuel W.; Black, and wounding Lieutenant-Colonel SweiUsr. The regiment broke and retreated, and was tha first one to come off the field in disorder, the men fright ened and panic-stricken at tha death of their beloved Colonel. The regiment - was not re formed. Mov Ing on the Left. , Finding he could not force our center, the enemy gradually threw his columns' against our left, pressing Martindale's right wing very bard, where he met a gallant resistance from the Twenty second Massachusetts and Second Maine regiments, as brave veterans as ever shouldered a musket, - V - Fierce Attack. Suddenly the everlasting roar of musketry increased in volume toward the extreme left, and the conflict seemed to grow fiercer than at any previous time.- This was about six o lock, and as 1 galloped over the field. looked back, and around upon the most sub lime scene that the fierce grandeur and terri ble reality of war ever portrayed. The thou sand continuous volleys of musketry seemed mingled into the grand roar of a great cata ract, while the louder and deeper discharges of artillery bounded forth over those hills and down that valley, with a volume that seemed to shake the earth beneath us. The canopy of smoke was so thick that the sun was gloomily red in the heavens, while the clouds of dust in the rear, caused by the commotion of advancing and retreating t-quador:s of ctval ry, was stifling and binding u a distressing ' degree. That memorable sc-ne will never be effaced from my recollection. ntd it denied mcfet like a battle field, of any ici-rem-i loa, either real or upon canvas.-, that 1 ever saw. Our "Left Line Broken. For one hour and a half our left line with stood this terrible shock of battle. Brigade after brigade of the enemy was hurled agtiust our devoted, darmer. dvinir heroes. Butter- ueld, with hat in hand, rallied, c bee red and led his mt n forward again and again. Though decimated at every discharge, losing heaviiy in officers, and with an overwhelming force in frout, thev till continued to fijrht. The gallant Col. McLane and Major Nagle, of the 83d Pennsylvania, fell death stricken, while line othcers wre stricken down by scores, and men by the hundred, But they wavered not. N nhout a smcie reinforcement, from first to last, this gallant brigade fought on, cle-red its front from the enemy iime utter time, until suddenly they found themselves outflanked on the right, the enemy breaking through Mar- tindales letr, arid came surging down tbe kill to cut off and capture the struggling bri gade. I hey thus saw ihat it was iu vain to longer continue. The right wa giving a way rapidly, and black crowds of relreatiug men could be seen making their way toward the river. "Once more, my gallant men, ' cried the brave Butterheld, and rallying again, tbe men cut the way through the opposing host, which now assailed them, in frjnt, in flank, and in rear, and tell back upon the river, crossing upon tbe remains of Emerson's bridge, which had been blown up by our own forces during the fight, an. gathering together their scat tered columns in the camp of Smith's divi sion, fouud that they numbered only 1500. with Lieut. Col. James C. Rice, who b&d again signalized himself for heroic bravery, as the senior officer in command. A part of tbe brigade had been withdrawn by the right flank, and with them Gan. Butterfleld, ho, notwithstanding the thousand dangers that he risked, escaped unharmed, otie bullet having passed tnroutrn tne rim ot his bat, and an other bent bis sword double. The Knemy Checked. When the left gave way, the center and finally the right was also pressed back, and the retreating columns soon became mingled into one black mass of troops. The infantry supports having fallen back, Allen's, Weeder's, Hart's and Edward's batteries were left ex posed, and all of them lost a part of their armament. Most of Martiudale's brigade were rallied within thirty rods of the enemy, under a heroic call from Col. Roberts, of the 2i Maine, but he was not supported, and then continued to fall back with the troops. When the order to fall back reached the middle hos pital, one ot three houses about equi-distant from each other, on the road to Woodbury's Bridge, quite a stampede took place among the stragglers who had there congrgated, most cf theut being men who had been detailed to bring in the wounded from their regiments and who bad failed to return. They made a rush for the bridge, followed by some of the troops, but before they reached the last hospital near the end of the bridge, they were speedily and summarily checked. About 7 o'clock Meagher's and Freuch's brig ades crossed the bridge, and advanced on tbe doub"le quick up the hill, forming in line of battle beyond he hospital, and swooping up the stragglers with a round turu. Griffin's and Martin's batteries likewise did splendid services, ii checking the advance of the ene my, pouring canister into their ranks with ter rible effect. Probably the greatest carnage of this bloody day was produced by the incessant discharges of double-shotted canister from the bronze Napoleons of Martin's battery. He had taken up a position in the hollow between two small hills. The enemy advanced from the opposite side in solid column, on the double quick, with arms at right shoulder shift, not being able to see the battery until they reached the ci est of the hill, within one hun dred yards of it, when Martin opened a bitter surprise upon them, sweeping them from tbe field like chaff before a storm. Twice again they formed and advanced, their officers be having splendidly, but it was useless, Martin's fierce leaden hail being too terrible to with stand. The advance of the fresh troops hav ing checked the enemy, and night coming on, the conflict ceased, and both parties quietly lay on their arms. A Noble Kali jr. The brigades of Generals French and. Meag her did not get into action. Tney formed in the rear of our broken columns, and did excellent service in checking the flight of many panic stricken stragglers and demoralized troops. The enemy quickly perceived the arrival of these fresh troops, and being at the same lime subject to a galling fire of canister from Grif fin's and Martin's batteries, soon withdrew his lines into the woods, whence he had issued, and quiet soon prevailed. But in almost less time than it takes to write it, a scene ot lndiscriDu ble excitement, of mingled confusion, and direful disorder had been obliterated; yes, lit erally crushed, and comparative order lestored out of almost chaos, by the prompt, energetic and fearless action of brave officers. As the rushing and retreating tide began to pour pre cipitately towards the bridge, -a dozen officers in my own sight drew tneir sabres ana pistols, placed themselves in iront ot tue straggling crowd, and every device that physical and mental nature could invent, rallied and formed column after column of men from the broken mass that swept over the plain. - There are some facts which my friend did not incorporate in his sketch. But there was no time nor opportunity for he or others to in cite history in the midst of public distress. Calamity brooded over all. Few bad oppor tunity to rest, not many could find wherewith to appease Hunger, ana mina as well as body was afflicted, uotn were ja lea ana reduced. Losses ire "were obliged to estimate. Official reports,, there were none. Of material Fits Jehn Porter s command lost 20 pieces of artil- lery, and the arms, with accoutrements, which belonged. to men wbj were lost. " Of dead, wounded and missing there were 7,000 or up - wards. Col. Edmund Pendleton, of a Louisiana regiment, (CoL P. formerly resided in Cincin - nati,) who was. capturea on juonaay, (June : disciplined troops, ana unaer ravoraDie aus 30th.) assured me that oa that day the rebels ' pices; to change a plan of operations in the captured 4,500 prisoners. - Our dead he esti matod from examination ot the oeia, at 4uu. thorities as one ot the most uangerous enter Of the wounded there is no account. It is re- j prises. In our situation it wts a case of det ported that the rebel loss is still mere awful, i peration. With our force, we could not hold It is claimed that the battle was badly man- 1 OUr positions against an enemy in front and aged. This is no time for criticism ; besides, ( rear longer than supplies on hand would last, the data not absolutely reliable. It is cer- t An attempt to cut through lines of entrench tain we were beaten in strategy and grand J ments and powerful redcubts, defended by a tactios. Indeed, I am compelled to admit that ' numerous and desperate enemy, would have the enemy there, as elsewhere, displayed skill been madness. "We had no hope of reinforce in. tha science of battles which does not always ; ments. Besides, it was now toojlato for them distinguish our leaders. - They seldom risk to form a junction with us, either by the Rap- battle with insufficient forces, ana they nanaie masses ia a masterly manner. Thus, on Fri day, .while our men stood and fought in line for Hours without respite, tne reoei leaders in cessantly rushed in fresh troops, relievin those who were jaded or beaten, so that it wai ptin fully apparent, before our brave follows gave way, that they must finally break before that rvr-iurcins tide. One other error was ptircopuble. Our officers seemed to fight not so much to win victory as to display tbe cour age ana endurance ol our soldiers. Instead of standing fast in sec .ire cover of forests, that the enemy might be compelled to fight on our terms, they advanced into tbe open fields and were cut down by scores by the more crafty fox But we were beaten. It was a melan cbo'y satisfaction to know that we occupied the field of bhttle after the conflict was ended. We had about 30,000 men engaged, perhaps 33,000. The enemy had four divisions em ployed, besides Jackson's admirable army cf 30,000 to 35,000 di.-ciplined troops. We had fourteen batteries 84 pieces in the field, and often one half could not u-wl to advantage. Martin's, Tidhali's and Weed; en's were most serviceable. Tidhali's was -n the extreme right, and to the enemy, wss an object of special attention. Lieut.-Col. De uni son', son of ex-Governor Dennison, had charge of one section of tha battery, and his captain complimented him upon his conduct. The conduct of the entire force that day was admi rable. The regulars, who had previously com plained of restraint, had full scope, and thay rc-eMablis-hed their ancient fame. Dutyea's Zouaves, clad iu crimson breeches and red skull caps, emulated their regular coairadcs, w inning the admiration of the army. Bu'. they suffered terribly, their conspicuous uniforms drawing upon them an awful llio wherever they appeared In tho-fiell. But volunteers and regulars alike won glory on that bloody field. Battle in Front. Meantime, while tumult raged over in the forest, excitement was scarcely less thrilling in front. Battle w-is imminent on the entire line all the day long. There were incessant flurries on ihe picket lines and no respite for auy . Meii stood in line of battle at the breast works from day-break well, they have been undur arms and under fire ever sine, as tlicy had been during the procediug twenty seven days and nights. The world never witnessed more devoted courage. Smith's divisiou at Gouldin's, on the edge of Chiekahominy valley, and Sedgwick's on his left, occupied the most sensitive points on the whole liue, since Fair 0.iks.. They threatened the key of the rebel position before Richmond. Hancock's and Bums' brigades held the most exposed lines. The former had taken a critical position in front of his in trenchments with a ctrong battery. It was altogether probable the enemy would attempt t drive him back. The afternoon was wear ing away wearily without serious demonstra tions, and we had begun to suspect the enemy of some sinister design in remaining so unde monstrative. It was probably four or five o'clock, however, when, without premonition, a strong force pressed strongly upon Gen. Burn,' picket line. He sent word instantly to Hancock to prepare for action. The latter was vigilant, but he had hardly received the message before a rebel battery of heavy guns Opened a furious storm of shell upon him, A moment later a strong brigade pounced upon his pickets, pressed them in irresistibly, and dashed at his battery. Burns was also nt work. His pickets had fallen back to their strong supports, and a warm battle was in progress in woods. The bullets rattled r camps, but the combatants . J invisible from the main le seen i was now exciting .'ffv "'.tt-Tis was working a briskly m ... generally rt . line of battle in the higheti dozen Napoleons a: i Varrotaj Smith's butte ries were hurling shells fast and furious, and the rebel guns wore bowli;i' away as merrily. The uir was filled with t.jrstiiig shells and suffused with sulphurous smoke, while th forests were obscured with musket mist. Our picket reservej, however, held tb'-ir ground manfully, and the ttneiny was briskly driveu back, our lads yelling at them triumphantly. Hancock was victorious after a bitter fight, in which two Goorgia regiment wens almost cut to pieces., - . Our loss, though not half so greit a that of thq enemy, was not trifling. Among the pris oners captured by Hancock, was one of the smartest and most mischievous of Southern politicians, Col. J. Q. C. Lamar, of the First Georgia regiment, once member of CongrefS. His Lteat-Colonel was also captured. But apprehensions about Porter's battle had distressed officers all along. It seemed appa rent that if the ene.ny defeated him, ruin threatened us from the rear. An attack in front indicated a disposition on thepart of thn rebels to force the issue we now deprecated. It was a grateful relief to drive them back iu front so easily. Ail our supports had been sent to Porter. Ve had no more than men enough to hold the front. It would have been madness to have contended w ith an equal force of disciplined troops in front and rear. There would bave been no alternative but hasty re treat at the sacrifice of most of our oquipHge and the siege train with the butchery of thou sands of our troops. By this time, mnset, tidings of a gloomy character had been received . from Porter. Not much later the extent of our misfortunes wns partially comprehended by offioers. For the first time we heard a whisper ot a serious determination on the pat of Gen. McClelian to "change his base of operations (?) to James river." It was considered a most critical movement especially under compulsion. You have already heard some, and you will hear many more explanations cf this calamitous but neceesitous plan, but I sincerely believe it never would have been attempted but for the attack on our right wing. This question, bow ever, will be the. subject of controversy; I shall, therefore, withhold consideration of it in detail until more favorable conditions offer. , Preparations for "Retreat. Even before Porter had been driven back, I was struck with the singular operations at general headquarters. I discovered that they j were being removed to Savage's Station, and a competent officer explained gravely that it : was thought advisable logo there, although i it was in the rear of our left wing. After 1 dark there were other ominous symptoms; I general officers confided to their staffs their 1 fears f coming disaster. Even with the best - j face of an enemy, is regargod by military au- pahannock route or by the xork river, since they would be cut oil inevitably. . -1 -U There was one extremely perilous alternative. The army Uonunued on fourth rage. l-c, .