[The Richmond Daily Dispatch]
The great struggle begun.
|Gen. Joseph E. Johnston|
Wounded in Action 31 May 1862
Battle of Seven Pines, Va.
On Saturday last the grand struggle for this city was commenced in earnest between a portion of Gen. Johnston's army on our side and a portion of the Federal army under General McClellan. The enemy had crossed the Chickahominy at several points, varying from eight and twelve miles from Richmond, on Friday evening, and was attacked on Saturday morning early by our forces. The fight was continued till night with great spirit on our side, and the enemy obstinately contested the ground from which he was repeatedly driver. The loss was no doubt heavy on both sides.--Yesterday morning the fight was again renewed, though not continued as uninterestingly as it was the day before. Both sides were reinforced after the beginning of the fight, but our numbers engaged were never more than half that of the enemy.
The summing up last night was highly encouraging to our man and our cause. We had driven the enemy at all points towards the Swamp or steam he had crossed, taken twenty-eight pieces and between seven and eight hundred prisoners.
General Johnston was slightly wounded the first day, and the command devolved on General Gustavus W. Smith--an officer of very great ability, enjoying the confidence of the army in a high degree.
The reader will find in our columns such a sketch of this great struggle, thus begun and progressing, as it was in our power to prepare from the materials within our reach.
The wounded have been ing in the city since the beginning of the fight. They have been placed in hospitals prepared for them — The citizens have discharged their duty nobly. They assisted in bringing up the wounded, and were active in doing what could to their sufferings.
In this contest for the Southern Capital every State in the Confederacy is represented. We suppose that each has shed its blood here, and the sons of each have here added insure to the history of their country by their heroism. The spirit with which our brave army of patriotic citizens has commenced the battle gave us assurance of a glorious result.