Official Records of the Rebellion

Official Records of the Rebellion

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No.2. Reports of Brig. Army, Chief Engineerof operations from May 23, 1861, to August 15, 1862.


I passed the night at Drew’s house (General Porter’s headquarters), where the commanding general came and remained unti1 12 or 1 o’clock of the night. The Engineer Brigade (a detachment of which had destroyed the White Oak Swamp Bridge) and Engineer Battalion had proceeded to camp near the headquarters, Haxall’s Landing.

The news of the action on the New Market road had been favorable. Subsequently and at a late hour it was reported that McCall’s division had been routed with the loss of its general officers, and somewhat later, probably about midnight, it was known that General Franklin was falling back and that Sumner and Heintzelman were necessarily following his example. This left no latitude of judgment as to the arrangements for the next day. I was ordered to reconnoiter and assist in putting the troops in position as they came in. I went out early to get a more general view of the hill and its connections, and afterward, assisted by Brigadier-General Humphreys, Chief of Topographical Engineers, Colonel Hudson, Captain Mason, and one or two other aides of the commanding general, I directed the formation of the line.

Leaving the dispositions to be made here by others, I then went to [p.121] Haxall’s, to see how our communications with the James River were to be covered. I found the commanding general had put Franklin’s corps in position for this purpose. I directed General Woodbury and Captain Duane to make “slashings” on the roads intersecting our long line, which, exceedingly strong at Malvern, was weak elsewhere. In the mean time Brigadier-General Humphreys, with very great labor, had succeeded in running a line through the dense woods of the Turkey Creek Bottom, and posting troops so as to connect our left on Malvern Hill with our right in front of Haxall’s.

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Official Records of the Rebellion: Volume Eleven, Chapter 23, Part 1: Peninsular Campaign: Reports, pp.120-121

web page Rickard, J (20 June 2006)

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