Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 01.djvu/83

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Seven Days Battles.

The commendation bestowed by General Lee was indeed merited by no few of the gallant commands which faced the feu d'enfer of that terrible field. The dead of the Tenth Louisiana of Semmes' brigade were found next morning beyond the line occupied by the Yankee guns and among the outbuildings of Crew's settlement, which had been the very stronghold of their line. It happened to this brigade, as well as to some others of those who were in front after dark, that they were fired into from behind by those moving up in support. At the cessation of the fire, several fragments of different commands were lying down and holding their ground within a short distance of the enemy's line, and as soon as the fighting ceased an informal truce was established by common consent, and numerous parties from both armies, with lanterns and litters, wandered over the field seeking for the unfortunate wounded, whose groans and calls on all sides could not fail to move with pity the heart of friend or foe.

Morning broke with a heavy rain, and showed the enemy's position entirely deserted, his army having withdrawn safely during the night across Turkey Creek bridge, leaving on the field his killed, with three disabled guns and the usual number of scattered small arms.

His retreat was now secure, and he reached Harrison's bar, or Westover, a strong position on the James, previously selected, without further molestation, and immediately fortified it so vigorously, that when, on the 4th of July, the Confederates again came up, no chance of success was left to an assault. General Lee remained in its front for a few days, reconnoitering and offering battle, but it proved in vain, and on the 8th the army was withdrawn to the vicinity of Richmond.

The Confederate loss in the battle of Malvern Hill is reported at 5,062, of which 2,900 fell in Magruder's and Huger's divisions, and 2,162 in Jackson's command. The Federal loss did not exceed one-third of that number.[1]

The total Confederate loss in the Seven Days Battles may be estimated at slightly above 17,000.[2]

General McClellan reports his losses at 1,582 killed, 7,709 wounded, and 5,958 missing; total, 15,249.

The Confederates captured fifty-two pieces of artillery, and

  1. Swinton's Army of the Potomac, page 162.
  2. Jackson reports his total losses in his four divisions as 5,446; in Longstreet's division the loss amounted to 4,429; in A. P. Hill's, to 3,870. Partial returns of Magruder, Huger and Holmes indicate the amount of their losses to be about 3,500. Aggregate, 17,245.