Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/213

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(Tatar* /////. 209

ry th;it will instruct and delight succeeding generations; and

Stilt s, in your presence a few weeks ago, gave ;i most vivid and in-

-ting history of Second Cold Harbor, no one has, as yet,

attempted to describe any part of the seven days' fight which took

place in June, 1862, under the walls of this historic city.

Tin most momentous, the least understood, and the severest criti- . 1 battle of that year was that of Malvern Hill. In order to under- stand why and how it was fought, it becomes necessary to examine the position of our troops on the day of the 3Oth, and to pass over the field of Glen Dale (Frazier's Farm) and witness the death-grap- ple of Longstreet with McCall and Sumner.

On Sunday morning, June 29th, the divisions of Generals Long- street and A. P. Hill left their camp north of the Chickahominy, and marched, via the Long Bridge and Darbytown roads, to intercept Gen- eral McClellan in his retreat to James river. The distance of six- teen miles was made, and those weary survivors of the desperate encounters of the previous days camped on the Long Bridge road, within two miles of the retreating Federals, who were then passing Glen Dale, where the Long Bridge, Charles City, and Willis Church roads meet.

While these two divisions were marching down the Darbytown road, Magruderwas engaging the enemy at Savage's Station on the York River road, and Jackson's forces were detained at Grape Vine bridge. Magruder, having lost 400 men killed and wounded, and having captured many prisoners, including one hospital with 2,500 sick and disabled Federals, and inflicted a severe loss on the enemy, estimated at not less than 1,000, slept on the field that night; and early on Monday morning, the enemy in his front having retreated via White Oak, marched his whole command over to the Darby- town road, and at 2 o'clock reached Timberlake's Store. At 4 o'clock he was ordered to New Market to the assistance of General Holmes. Between sunset and dark his front brigades were forming in the dense woods bordering the Long Bridge road, with the view of rendering this assistance. After dark, he was ordered to Longstreet; and, weary and footsore, these men marched to Glen Dale and oc- cupied the battlefield, where Longstreet and Hill had made their slendid fight unsupported, although 50,000 men were within a radius of three miles.

General Huger's forces, consisting of Mahone's, Wright's, Armis- tead's and Ransom's brigades, were ordered down the Charles City road early Sunday morning, the 29th. At the request of General