Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/754

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erate army was led by General Johnston to the peninsula in order to check McClellan's advance upon Richmond. There was much maneuvering, and some skirmishing and battles between portions of the armies. At Seven Pines Griffith's command was present and ready for action and under fire of the enemy, but not actively engaged. But during the Seven Days of battle around Richmond every command was put upon its mettle. General Griffith's brigade was at that time in the division of General Magruder, who during the decisive battle of June 27th at Gaines' Mill by his skillful management kept the far larger part of the Union army at bay while Lee overwhelmed the weaker portion. During the next day he continued in front of the enemy watching his every movement. On Sunday morning it was evident that McClellan was making for the James. The whole army started in pursuit. When Magruder reached Fair Oaks station he found the enemy's lines in that vicinity, which had been evacuated, in possession of a part of Kershaw's brigade, the remainder of his own command being then on the march. He ordered Major-General McLaws to consolidate Kershaw's brigade and place it on the right of the railroad, and as the other brigade of General McLaws did not arrive for some time, Magruder ordered two regiments of Griffith's advance brigade to take post in reserve, also on the right of the railroad, so as to support Kershaw's brigade, leaving the Williamsburg road still farther on the right unoccupied and open for Huger. He then formed the other two regiments of Griffith's brigade on the left of General Kershaw, their right resting on the railroad. Brigadier-General Cobb's command, which marched in rear of Griffith's, was, as soon as it arrived, formed on the left of these two regiments, two of his own being kept in reserve. The enemy, having ascertained Magruder's position, opened a brisk artillery fire upon the Confederates, wounding the gallant General Griffith so severely that he died the next day. Thus, at Savage