May 31-June 1, 1862
Estimated Casualties: 13,736 total
(US 5,739; CS 7,997)
On May 31, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston attempted to overwhelm two Federal corps that appeared isolated south of the Chickahominy River. The
Confederate assaults, though not well coordinated, succeeded in driving back
the IV Corps and inflicting heavy casualties. Reinforcements arrived, and both
sides fed more and more troops into the action. Supported by the III Corps and
Sedgwick's division of Sumner's II Corps (that crossed the
rain-swollen river on Grapevine Bridge), the Federal position was finally
Benson's Battery behind earthworks at Fair Oaks - 1862.
Gen. Johnston was seriously wounded during the action, and command
of the Confederate army devolved
temporarily to Maj. Gen. G.W. Smith. On June 1, the Confederates renewed their
assaults against the Federals who had brought up more reinforcements but made
little headway. Both sides claimed victory. Confederate brigadier Robert H.
Hatton was killed. (Text Source: U.S. Gov't, National Park Service)