[The Richmond Daily Dispatch, June 30, 1861]
The great battle.
the enemy in full retreat
details of the fight
Storming of Mechanicsville.
capture of Ellyson's Mills?
battle of Beaver Dam Creek.
the fight at Gaines Mills!
&c. &c. &c.
the enemy in full retreat
details of the fight
Storming of Mechanicsville.
capture of Ellyson's Mills?
battle of Beaver Dam Creek.
the fight at Gaines Mills!
&c. &c. &c.
|Maj. Gen. A.P. Hill|
When Gen. A. P. Hill had steadily driven the enemy from Meadow Bridge, and had taken up the line of march towards Mechanicville and the road, evening had far advanced, and it was supposed that a halt would take place. Gen. Ripley, however, with the 44th and 48th Georgia, and 2d and 3d North Carolina, made an attack upon the Yankee fortifications at Ellyson's Mills, in which the 44th Georgia and 3d North Carolina suffered extremely, and did not succeed in taking them, owing to the impracticable nature of the ground. Operations were then suspended on our side, but the enemy kept up a deafening roar of artillery till late in the night. Long street's forces had meanwhile crossed, and marched parallel with the Chickahominy. The brigades of Gens. Featherstone and Pryor were in advance, and proceeding some distance, halted for the night. About midnight, Featherstone received orders to change his position, and to occupy a skirt of woods near Beaver Dam Creek, and facing the Federal batteries. He did so, and the men were scarcely asleep when, twilight approaching, the enemy discovered the bivouac, and immediately commenced to shell it vigorously. The men, thus unceremoniously aroused, seized their muskets and fell in, and Gen. Featherstone, just arrived from headquarters, led them to storm the position — mounting ten guns, and supported by two or three brigades. Sharp fighting now commenced on all sides, when Gen. Pryor sent for assistance, and Wilcox soon came upon the ground. To cover the infantry attack, and draw off the artillery fire, the 3d Richmond Howitzers, some pieces of the Donaldsonville and Thomas Artillery, moved up and played upon the enemy's position magnificently.--Having engaged the enemy for a long time, and finding it impossible to cross the creek without a bridge, one was constructed by some of the 19th Mississippi and 14th Louisiana, under fire when the whole force advanced, and closed up with the enemy, driving them in great confusion from the field. The difficulties of attack at this position were such that it is impossible to give a correct idea without maps — the battery being on a height, flanked by rifle pits, a deep creek at the foot of the hill, and covered with a thick hedge.
A daring attack.
The attack of our men on this position was impetuous and daring, but the loss was great, for the foe were so screened by their position it was impossible to get at them properly. Their loss was severe. Gen. Featherstone's Adjutant General, Geo. P. Foote, was shot while riding far in advance of the 12th Mississippi, and although hailed to return, he did not, and was quickly singled out and mortally wounded. His body was shortly afterwards found despoiled — watch, money, and swordsmen. The 12th Mississippi went out in the morning with 397 men, lost in this engagement 12 killed, 68 wounded, and 9 missing; the regiment was commanded by Major W. H. Lilly. who was wounded leading a charge,--the Colonel being absent and sick, and the Lieutenant Colonel wounded. The 19th Mississippi went into action with 521--had 31 killed, 150 wounded. The 2nd Mississippi battalion, Col. Taylor, went into action with 234 men, and had 30 killed and wounded. The loss of Pryor's brigade we have not learned; but hear that the 14th Louisiana and the remnant of St. Paul's battalion suffered severely,--Wilcox, being in support, did not lose many. The Generals speak in high terms of the execution of our field pieces in this attack, the 3rd Richmond Howitzers, some of the Donaldsonville, and Thomas artillery, having caused great destruction among the enemy, and with slight loss to themselves. The rapidity of their fire quite astonished the Yankees, and could be distinctly heard over all our city, long before dawn had fairly broken.
Fight at Ellyson's Mills.
While Featherstone, Pryor, and Wilcox were thus successfully engaging the enemy on the right of our advance, Gen. Maxcy Gregg and his brigade were also hard at work, and successfully stormed the strong position of Ellyson's Mills, and took up the line of march on the left. They did not advance on the Mills by the road, as had been done on Fridayevening by Ripley, but simply made a feint in that direction, crossed the main body higher up the creek, took the redoubts and rifle pits en flank carried them with the bayonet, pushed through the camps, and followed the road towards Gaines's Mills, whither the enemy were retiring.
At Gaine's Mills.
From prisoners captured at both positions — who proved to be of the Valley Army — it was ascertained that we might expect stout resistance at Gaines's Mills, since three or four whole divisions were strongly encamped there, McClellan commanding in person, with Major Generals McCall, Porter, Sedgewick, and others — their estimated force being not less than thirty-odd thousand men. As our three columns moved by parallel lines, we followed and conversed with prisoners, who informed us that their loss on Friday at Meadow Bridge, Mechanicsville, and Ellsyson's Mills, had been fearful, and that the whole night had been occupied in burial. The Federals carry off all their dead and wounded, as fast as shot, and we only discover those who fall and are left at the actual moment of retreat. This [ inforformation ] we believe to be correct.
The heads of our three columns having reached Waller Hogan's farm, north bank of the Chickahominy, about 9 miles northeast of Richmond, all came to a halt, and Gens. Lee and Longstreet took up quarters in the house and made dispositions for a further advance towards Gaines's Mills, distant about one mile through the woods. Featherstone's brigade having suffered much in the morning, Wilcox led, being followed by Pryor, and Featherstone in reserve. The composition of Wilcox's command is mostly Alabamans; Pryor has the 14th Louisiana, St. Paul's battalion, 3d Virginia, and one other regiment; Featherstone has the 19th and 12th Mississippi, and 2d Mississippi battalion.
Character of the ground.
Emerging from the woods, the road leads to the left and then to the right round Gaines's house, when the whole country, for the area of some two miles, is an open, unbroken succession of undulating hills. Standing at the north door of Gaines's house, the whole country to the fight, for the distance of one mile, is a gradual slope towards a creek, through which the main road runs up an open hill and then winds to the right. In front, to the left, are orchards and galleys, running gradually to a deep creek. Directly in front, for the distance of a mile, the ground is almost table land, suddenly dipping to the deep creek mentioned above, being faced by a timber-covered hill fronting all the table land. Beyond this timber-covered hill, the country is again open, and a perfect Plataean, a farm house and out houses occupying the centre, the main road mentioned winding to the right and through all the Federal camps. To the left and rear of the second mentioned farm, a road comes in upon the flat lands, joining the main road mentioned. Thus, to recapitulate, except the deep creek and timber-covered hill, beyond it, the whole country, as seen from the north door of Gaines's house, is unbroken, open, undulating, and table land, the right forming a descent to the wood- covered creek, the left being dips and gullies, with dense timber still farther to the left; the front being for the most part table land. These particulars of the position are as correct, perhaps, as can be mentioned; but without a map it will always be difficult to understand the topography of this hard fought and victorious field of Gaines's Mills.
But to the southeast of Gaines's house is a large tract of timber, commanding all advances upon the main road, and in this McClellan and McCall had posted a strong body of skirmishers, with artillery, to annoy our flank and rear when advancing on their camps on the high grounds, if we did so by the main road or over the table lands to the north.
|Battle of Gaine's Mill (Battles & Leaders)|
It now being 3 P. M., and the head of our column in view of the Federal camps, Gen. Pryor was sent forward with his brigade to drive away the heavy mass of skirmishers posted to our rear to annoy the advance. This being accomplished with great success, and with little loss to us, Pryor returned and awaited orders. Meanwhile the Federals, from their camps and several positions on the high grounds, swept the whole face of the country with their numerous artillery, which would have annihilated our entire force if not screened in the dips of the land and in gullies to our left. Advancing cautiously but rapidly in the skirt of woods and in the dips to the left, Wilcox and Pryor deployed their men into line of battle — Featherstone being in the rear — and suddenly appearing on the plateau facing the timber-covered hill, rushed down into the wide gully crossed it, clambered over all the felled timber, stormed the timber breastworks beyond it, and began the ascent of the hill, under a terrific fire of sharpshooters and an incessant discharge of grape and canister, from pieces posted on the brow of the hill, and from batteries in their camps to the right on the high flat lands. Such a position was never stormed before. In descending into the deep creek, the infantry and artillery fire that assailed the three brigades was the most terrific on record. Twenty-six pieces were thundering at them, and a perfect hailstorm of lead fell thick and fast around them. One of Wilcox's regiments wavered,--down the General rushed, furiously, sword in hand, and threatened to behead the first man that hesitated. Pryor steadily advanced, but slowly; and by the time that the three brigades had stormed the position, passed up the hill through timber, and over felled trees, Featherstone was far in advance. Quickly the Federals withdrew their pieces, and took up a fresh position to assail the three brigades advancing in perfect line of battle from the woods and upon the plateau. Officers had no horses, all were shot —
Brigadiers marched on foot, sword in hand,--regiments were commanded by Captains, and companies by Sergeants, yet onward they rushed, with yells and colors flying, and backward, still backward fell the Federals, their men tumbling every moment in scores. But what a sight met the eyes of these three gallant brigades! In front stood Federal camps, stretching to the northeast for miles! Drawn up in line of battle were more than three full divisions, commanded by McCall, Porter, Sedgewick, &c.--banners darkened the air — artillery vomited forth incessant volleys of grape, canister and shell — heavy masses were moving on our left through the woods to flank us! Yet onward came Wilcox to the right, Pryor to the left, and Featherstone in the centre--one grand, matchless line of battle — almost consumed by exploits of the day — yet onward they advanced to the heart of the Federal position, and when the enemy had fairly succeeded in almost flanking us on the left, great commotion is heard in the woods!--volleys upon volleys are heard in rapid succession, which are recognized and cheered by our men--"It is Jackson!" they shout, "on their right and rear!" Yes, two or three brigades of Jackson's army have flanked the enemy, and are getting in the rear! Now, the fighting was bitter and terrific. Worked up to madness, Wilcox, Featherstone and Pryor dash forward at a run, and drive the enemy with irresistible fury — to our left emerge Hood's Texan brigade, Whiting's comes after, and Pender follows! The line is now complete, and "forward" rings from one end of the line to the other, and the Yankees, over 30,000 strong, begin to retreat! Wheeling their artillery from the front, the Federals turn part of it to break our left, and save their retreat. The very earth shakes at the roar! Not one piece of ours has yet opened! all has been done with bullet and bayonet, and onward press our troops through camps upon camps, capturing guns, stores, arms, clothing, &c. Yet, like bloodhounds on the trail, the six brigades sweep everything before them, presenting an unbroken, solid front, and closing in upon the enemy, keep up an incessant succession of volleys upon their confused masses, and unerringly slaughtering them by hundreds and thousands!
|Lt. Gen. T.J. "Stonewall" Jackson|
“Stonewall" at work.
But "where is Jackson?" ask all.--He has traveled fast, and is heading the retreating foe, and as night closes in, all is anxiety for intelligence from him. Tis now about 7 P. M., and just as the rout of the enemy is complete — just as the last volleys are sounding in the enemy's rear, the distant and rapid discharges of cannon tell that Jackson has fallen upon the retreating column, broken it, and captured 3,000 prisoners! Far in the night, his insatiable troops hang upon the enemy, and for miles upon miles are dead, wounded, prisoners, wagons, cannon, &c., scattered in inextricable confusion upon the road! Thus, for four hours, did our inferior force, unaided by a single piece of artillery, withstand over thirty thousand of the enemy, assisted by twenty-six pieces of artillery!
In total, we captured many prisoners, and thirty [ peices ] of artillery up to 5 P. M.Friday, and in the battle of Gaines's Mills, captured 26 field-[ peices, ] 15,000 stand of arms, 6 stand of colors, three Generals, (Reynolds, Sanders and Rankin,) and over 4,000 prisoners, including dozens of officers of every grade — from Colonel to Lieutenants of the line.
The Federal force.
Every arm of the service was well represented in the Federal line — cavalry were there in force, and when our men emerged from the woods, attempted to charge, but the three brigades on the right, and Jackson's three brigades on the left, closed up ranks and poured such deadly volleys upon the horsemen, that they left the ground in confusion and entirely for their infantry to decide the day. McCall's, Porter's and Sedgewick's "crack" divisions melted away before our advance, however; and had the fight lasted one half hour longer, not one whole regiment would have survived it. McClellan, prisoners say, repeatedly was present, and directed movements, but when the three brigades to our left emerged from the woods, such confusion and havoc ensued, that he gave orders to retreat, slipped off his horse, and escaped as best he could. Some say that he was severely wounded, and many officers (prisoners) believe the report that he was on the field is undoubtedly true; for everything had been previously prepared for a grand fight at Gaines's Mills, McClellan even promising to capture our whole force, should we attempt to storm his camps. Results were different, and so the Fates reward the greatest Liar of his age!
Charges and repulses.
Much has been said of repeated "charges" made, and "repulses." Wild imaginations have concocted many such foolish reports. There was but one. "charge," and from the moment the word of command was given--"fix bayonets; forward!" our advance was never stopped despite the awful reception which met it. It is true that one or two regiments became confused in passing over the deep ditch, abattis, and timber earthwork,--it is also true that several slipped from the ranks and ran to the rear, but in many cases these were wounded men; but the total number of "stragglers" would not amount to more than one hundred. This is strictly true, and redounds to our immortal honor. These facts are true of Wilcox's, Pryor's, and Featherstone's brigades, who formed our right, and we are positive that from the composition of Whiting's, Hood's, and Pender's brigades, who flanked the enemy and formed our left, they never could be made to falter, for Whiting had the 11th 16th and 2nd Mississippi, and two other regiments, unknown to us — Hood had four Texan and one Georgia regiment, and the material of Pender's command was equally as good as any, and greatly distinguished itself. These were the troops mostly engaged and that suffered most. It is gross injustice in any to talk of our troops making "three charges,""repulses," &c., &c. Our troops received the command but once, and if Satan and all his host had confronted them, instead of mortal Yankees, the result would have been the same. There were no repulses — all arrangements worked like a charm; and we ought not only to do our soldiers justice, but heartily thank Providence for his guiding hand and assistance, in the immortal events of Thursday and Friday.
"Who took the batteries?"
It is always a difficult matter to ascertain with any degree of certainty who took this or that battery, for ever since the capture of Sherman's at Manassas the question of conquered batteries has always been a vexed one. The position of regiments changes so often in an engagement that one, perhaps, who did but little, by some lucky chance, finds itself before a feebly defended or deserted battery, and simply for the trouble of planting a flag thereon has honor conferred on it for doing nothing! There were not less than six batteries captured in the battles of "Gaines's Mill," yet not one of any of our regiments can lay positive claim to any single one piece, for all are contested property. Some of the 12th Mississippi claim the beautiful brass pieces so much admired, and officers say that when they arrived in front a young man named Cassidy jumped upon one of the horses, and wished to drive them off or turn them on the enemy, but was not allowed. The 5th Texas, after hard fighting, found itself before a battery and cleared it, but yet some other regiment claimed it. A Georgia regiment of Hood's brigade claims one, Wilcox's brigade claims another, and so it is — they all fight for them, yet none can lay positive individual claim to any! Yet all enjoy the joke and laugh right heartily over the dangers of capture, and chat around camp fires right merrily, never counting the danger, but only desiring new occasions to distinguish themselves.
Money was found quite abundantly among the slain. Some men, in interring the dead, often searched the pockets, &c., one man finding not less than $150 in gold; another fished out of some old clothes not less than $500; another $1,000 in Federal notes-Watches, both gold and silver, were found among the spoils, one lucky individual having not less than six chronometers ticking in his pocket at one time. As a general thing, more money was found upon the dead on the field than on any other of which we have heard.
Clothing in abundance was scattered about, and immense piles of new uniforms were found untouched. Our men seemed to take great delight in assuming Federal officers' uniforms, and strutted about seriocomically, much to the amusement of dusty powder begrimed youths, who sat lolling and smoking in the shade. Every conceivable article of clothing was found in these Divisional Camps, and came quite apropos to our needy soldiery, scores of whom took a cool bath, and changed old for new underclothing, many articles being of costly material and quite unique.
The amount of ammunition found was considerable, and proved of very superior quality and manufacture. The exact amount captured we have not yet ascertained, but from the immense piles of boxes scattered through the camps, we conjecture that the enemy had laid in quite an unusual supply, expecting to use it, doubtless, upon our devoted men, and so they would, did our troops stand, as they do, at "long taw," and not come to "close quarters."
The cannon and arms captured in this battle were numerous and of very superior workmanship. The 26 pieces were the most beautiful we have ever seen, while immense piles of guns could be seen on every hand — many scarcely having the manufacturer's "finish" even tarnished. The enemy seemed quite willing to throw them away on the slightest pretext, dozens being found with loads still undischarged. The number of small arms captured, we understand, was not less than 15,000, of every calibre and every make.
The Federal wounded were collected together, and formed a very large field hospital. The court-yard of a farm house was selected, and scores could be seen reclining on the grass, and expert surgeons operating with much skill and zeal. By mutual agreement surgeons are not considered prisoners of war, hence at the close of the late battle, many Federal surgeons remained behind, and their services seemed very much appreciated by the men. As many as could be were conveyed to town and attended to, good conveyance being furnished, and much care manifested for their welfare.
|Maj. C.R. Wheat, 1st Special Bn. La. Vols.|
The gallant dead--Col. Wheat,
Among the many heroic spirits who sacrificed their lives on the altar of our country in the dreadful, but glorious, struggle at "Gaines's Mills" on Friday, June 27th, we would particularly mention the name of the immortal Wheat, of Wheat's Battalion,--the master-spirit of that heroic band, who, from the dawn of our struggle until the present, he always been found in the van-guard battling manfully for our lives, liberties, and homes. At Manassas, the name of Wheat became historical in our annals, for as long as that victory shall remain known to fame, so long will the name of Robert Wheat be coupled with it. Despising petty intrigue, Col. Wheat desired nothing more than to secure his own beloved South, and to be in active service was his chief delight Joining Jackson in the Valley, and winning imperishable fame, this gallant man fought all through that arduous but all glorious campaign, and while leading the small remnant of his once numerous battalion to the charge, at Gaines's Mills, was mortally shot in the head. "Bury me on the field, boys, " said he, and placidly expired. May he rest in peace.
It is impossible to get correct returns of the killed and wounded. Our loss is probably not over 2,000, at the highest calculation. The Federal loss is estimated at 20,000, killed, wounded, and prisoners, if not more. The following items we have from Featherstone's brigade.
The casualties in the 12th regiment Mississippi volunteers, Featherstone's brigade, Long street's division, commanded by Major W. H Lilly, are as follows. Major W. H. Lilly, wounded early in the morning's action, while leading the regiment in the first charge. In the morning engagement this regiment lost 12 killed, 68 wounded, and 9 missing. Number taken into the field, officers, non-commissioned officers, and privates, 397. In the evening engagement, (Capt. S. B. Thomas commanding regiment,) the loss was 6 killed, 38 wounded, and 18 missing. Number of officers and prisoner taken into battle, 308. The regiment lost 153 killed, wounded, and missing, during the day, out of 397 men.
The above is as near correct as it is possible to be certain, as several reported missing have been found killed, and others wounded.
The 19th Mississippi volunteers lost 31 killed and 150 wounded, out of 521 that went into action in the morning.
The 2d Mississippi battalion lost 106 killed and wounded, out of 234 taken into action in the morning.
The following is a list of casualties in the Purcell Battery, in the battle of Thursdayevening last:
Killed--Lieut. Wm. A. Allen; Corporal Murphy, Privates Boyd and Stillman.
Wounded--Lieut. H. M. Fitzhugh; Serg't Crow, McGruder, Temple, Ball, Messier; Corporals Eddins, Beck; Privates Beckham, Cheatham, Thos. Berry, Donahoe, Geo. Dockerty, Davis, Daniel, Ege, Flemming, Finnell, Mott, Grigsby, Herring, Holland, Heart, Harrow, Geo. W. Johnston, E. P. Jones, W. T. Flint, James, Kimball, Mitchell, Mahoney, McLeod, Morton, O Brien, F. S. Price, Ritchie, Rose, Sacrey, T. H. Thompson, B. M. Temple, Partington, W. T. Smith, T. T. Yager.
This list proves the desperate bravery exhibited by the command in the bloody strife.--We learn that Mr. Dawson, a young English man, who came over in the Nashville, volunteered for the engagement, and received a wound while acting most gallantly.
The Crenshaw Battery, of this city, (attached to Gregg's brigade,) acted with distinguished gallantry in Friday's battle. The casualties are: Serg't S. Strother and Private Robt Hines, killed; Corporal Wm. B. Allen, Marion Knowles, Geo. Young, Benton Graves, Daniel Lancaster, Thos. Mallory, and Thomas Ryder, wounded. The company lost fully one third of their horses, and had three of their guns disabled. All the pieces were brought off the field, however, though, owing to a lack of horses, some had to be dragged away by hand
Casualties in Co. E., 44th Ga. Regiment, engaged before Ellyson's Mills, Thursdayevening: Killed--Privates A. Bagwell, J. Lee, E. Davis, R. M. Dawson, J. H. Digby. Missing — W. J Reeves. M. P. Swinney. Wounded--Capt. J. W. Adams, slightly in arm; Lieut. J H. Connally, slightly in chest; Lieut. S. A Scott, slightly in shoulder and knee; Lieut Manly, in hand and knee; Corp'l A C Cald well, badly; Corp'l T. L. Hatcher; Corp'l Madden, slightly; Privates J. M. Davis, W. S. Brown, J. W. Perkins, slightly; E. G. Curbow, badly; Daniel Curbow, slightly; Wm Bagwell, J. A. Collins, Joseph Beall, Robert Norris, J. Norris, F. J. Weldon, Green Allison, W. S. Futral, N. T. Gibson, H. H. Gibson, Wm. Jester, T. T. Bishop.
Engagement at Coal Harbor.
In the fight on Friday, Johnson's Battery, of this city, occupied an exposed position on the Coal Harbor road, about one mile from Coal Harbor, and was subjected to a fire remarkable for its accuracy, which (as an eye witness informs us) the command encountered without flinching Capt. Johnson was conspicuous for his bravery throughout the period in which his battery was engaged, and our informant says that not an inch of ground would have been yielded while a man remained to serve the guns, had not Gen. Lee, observing the deadly effect of the enemy's fire, ordered them to withdraw from the contest. The casualties, both in men and horses, were heavy.
Among the sad incidents of the battle may be mentioned the death of Lieut. W. Eugene Webster, of Maryland, chief executive officer of the Arsenal, who was acting as Aid to Gen. Rodes. He fell in the thickest of the fight, while gallantly cheering on a regiment His body was brought to the city on Saturday. Lieut. W. was a relative of Gen. Lee.
We regret to learn that Major T. S. Skinner, 1st N. C., was killed in the engagement on Thursday evening, in the attack on the Federal entrenchments.
At Garnett's farm.
About eleven o'clock Saturday, Capt. Monday's battery opened fire upon the entrenchments of the enemy located just beyond Garnett's farm. The battery fired some ten or fifteen minutes, and meanwhile a body of infantry, consisting of the 7th and 8th Georgia regiments, moved up under cover of the fire from the field pieces. The 8th, in advance, charged across a ravine and up a hill, beyond which the Yankee entrenchments lay. They gained the first line of works and took possession of them, but, it is proper to state, this was unoccupied at the time by the Yankees. --The fire of the enemy was murderous, and as soon as our men reached the brow of the hill, rapid volleys of grape, canister, and musketry were poured into them. It was found almost impossible to proceed farther, but the attempt would have been made, had not orders been received to fall back, which was done in good order, still under fire.
The loss in the 7th is reported at seventy-odd men killed, wounded, and missing. In the 8th, upwards of eighty. Col. Lamar, of the 8th, was severely wounded in the groin, and fell into the hands of the enemy. Lieut. Col. Towers was captured, but uninjured. The Yankees were completely hidden behind their works, and did not suffer much apparently. We took a captain, lieutenant, and some five or six privates, the Yankee picket force at the point. Later a flag of truce was granted to take away our dead and wounded, but a conference with Col. Lamar was refused. The Federal surgeons, however, did not think his wound a fatal one, and, therefore, would not allow him to be taken away.
Gen. Toombs's brigade.
On Friday General Toombs was ordered to "feel" the enemy entrenched to the East and front of Garnett's farm. After receiving written orders to advance, Gen. Toombs sent forward the 2d, 15th and 17th Georgia. The enemy had near three brigades in a skirt of woods behind an abattis of felled timber and brushwood. The Georgians advanced spiritedly upon the Yankees and drove them back, not, however, until they had fought desperately for the ground. Finding it unfavorable to flank our force, the Yankees withdrew and left us in possession of the field. It was maintained until orders were sent for Gen. Toombs to retire.
Our total loss may be summed up as follows Killed 24; wounded 160, and 4 missing, up to the time the reports came in Col. McIntosh of the 15th, lost his leg, Capt. Birch was killed' Capt. Tilley dangerously wounded, and Lt. Edwards slightly wounded. This engagement was a spirited and creditable affair, General Toombs obeying strictly his written orders.
Gen. Lee pushed his advance until 10 o'clock last night, (Saturday,) and at 11 was in occupancy of the York River Railroad, the enemy's principal line of communication. This in effect pierces the enemy's centre, and separates their forces on the northside of the Chickahominy from those on the southside. Brig. Gen. Riker is among the prisoners brought to the city yesterday morning.
Among the wounded may be mentioned Maj. John M. Daniel, editor of the Richmond Examiner, and late of Gen. Floyd's staff, but now acting with Gen. Hill. His arm was shattered.
Capt. Wm. Randall, company K, 1st Louisiana, was not killed as at first reported. He received a severe wound in the right arm at the elbow joint.
Maj. Edward Savage, N. C. State troops, was among the wounded.
Among the well known citizens of Richmond who met soldiers deaths were Clarence War wick, son of Abram Warwick Bradfute Warwick, son of Corbin Warwick and Samuel D. Mitchell, son of the late Wm. Mitchell, jr They were all young men.
Col. J. G. Seymond, of the 6th Louisiana was killed Saturday.
Among the killed in the desperate fight of Friday afternoon, was Col. J. W. Allen of the 2d regiment Virginia volunteers. He was shot through the head and expired almost instantly. At the time he received the fatal shot, he was acting Brigadier-General of Jackson's celebrated "Stonewall Brigade." His body was brought to this city yesterday morning, and during the day deposited in Holly wood Cemetery. Maj. Frank B. Jones, of the same regiment, is thought to be mortally wounded, having lost a leg. His condition is at least, exceeding critical.
Capt. Wood McDonald, son of Col. Angus W. McDonald, of Winchester, and aid to Gen. Elzey, was killed in the same engagement.
Major P. J. Sinclair, of the 5th North Carolina regiment, received a painful wound in the thigh, and was brought to the city yesterday afternoon by Dr. Coffin, by whom his wound was dressed. He is now at the American Hotel.
Private Charles Lucas, of the "Wise Artillery," from Martinsburg, was killed on Fridayafternoon. His brother, Serg't Benj. Lucas, of the same company, was seriously wounded.
In the engagement near "Fair Oaks," yesterday afternoon, Brigadier General Griffith had one of his legs broken, and apprehensions are felt that amputation may be necessary.
A Federal Lieutenant, who was captured yesterday morning and brought to the head quarters of Gen. Lee, reports that two entire regiments had deserted during the morning.
The Confederate forces yesterday afternoon occupied the enemy's position at the White House, on the Pamunkey, but all the stores of the enemy at that point were destroyed by them in their retreat.
An official Dispatch.
The following dispatch was received by President Davis at a late hour on Fridaynight. It relates to the operations of Friday
Headquarters, June 27, 1862
His Excellency, President Davis:
--Profoundly grateful to Almighty God for the signal victory granted to us, it is my pleasing task to announce to you the success achieved by this army to-day.
The enemy was this morning driven from strong position behind Beaver Dam Creek, and pursued to that behind Powhite Creek, and finally after a severe contest of five hours entirely repulsed from the field.
Night put an end to the contest. I grieve to stand that our loss in officers and men is great.
We sleep on the field, and shall renew the contest in the morning.
I have the honor to be, very respectably,
(signed)R. E. Lee, General