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REPORTS OF GENERAL ROBERT E. LEE


(PAGE 5 OF 5)






Source: O.R.-- Series I--Volume XI/2 (With Editing - Ed)



   

GENERAL ORDERS No. 75.

HDQRS. ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
June 24, 1862.

I. General Jackson's command will proceed to-morrow from Ashland toward the Slash Church and encamp at some convenient point west of the Central Railroad. Branch's brigade, of A. P. Hill's division, will also to-morrow evening take position on the Chickahominy near Half. Sink. At 3 o'clock Thursday morning, 26th instant, General Jackson will advance on the road leading to Pole Green Church, communicating his march to General Branch, who will immediately cross the Chickahominy and take the road leading to Mechanicsville. As soon as the movements of these columns are discovered, General A. P. Hill, with the rest of his division, will cross the Chickahominy near Meadow Bridge and move direct upon Mechanicsville. To aid his advance, the heavy batteries on the Chickahominy will at the proper time open upon the batteries at Mechanicsville. The enemy being driven from Mechanicsville and the passage across the bridge opened, General Longstreet, with his division and that of General D. H. Hill, will cross the Chickahominy at or near that point, General D. H. Hill moving to the support of General Jackson and General Longstreet supporting General A. P. Hill. The four divisions, keeping in communication with each other and moving en échelon on separate roads, if practicable, the left division in advance, with skirmishers and sharpshooters extending their front, will sweep down the Chickahominy and endeavor to drive the enemy from his position above New Bridge, General Jackson bearing well to his left, turning Beaver Dam Creek and taking the direction toward Cold Harbor. They will then press forward toward the York River Railroad, closing upon the enemy's rear and forcing him down the Chickahominy. Any advance of the enemy toward Richmond will be prevented by vigorously following his rear and crippling and arresting his progress.

II. The divisions under Generals Huger and Magruder will hold their positions in front of the enemy against attack, and make such demonstrations Thursday as to discover his operations. Should opportunity offer, the feint will be converted into a real attack, and should an abandonment of his intrenchments by the enemy be discovered, he will be closely pursued.

III. The Third Virginia Cavalry will observe the Charles City road. The Fifth Virginia, the First North Carolina, and the Hampton Legion (cavalry) will observe the Darbytown, Varina, and Osborne roads. Should a movement of the enemy down the Chickahominy be discovered, they will close upon his flank and endeavor to arrest his march.

IV. General Stuart, with the First, Fourth, and Ninth Virginia Cavalry, the cavalry of Cobb's Legion and the Jeff. Davis Legion, will cross the Chickahominy to-morrow and take position to the left of General Jackson's line of march. The main body will be held in reserve, with scouts well extended to the front and left. General Stuart will keep General Jackson informed of the movements of the enemy on his left and will co-operate with him in his advance. The Tenth Virginia Cavalry, Colonel Davis, will remain on the Nine-mile road.

V. General Ransom's brigade, of General Holmes' command, will be placed in reserve on the Williamsburg road by General Huger, to whom he will report for orders.

VI. Commanders of divisions will cause their commands to be provided with three days' cooked rations. The necessary ambulances and ordnance trains will be ready to accompany the divisions and receive orders from their respective commanders. Officers in charge of all trains will invariably remain with them. Batteries and wagons will keep on the right of the road. The chief engineer, Major Stevens, will assign engineer officers to each division, whose duty it will be to make provision for overcoming all difficulties to the progress of the troops. The staff departments will give the necessary instructions to facilitate the movements herein directed.

By command of General Lee:
R. H. CHILTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General.



HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,

April 7, 1863.
General S. COOPER,
Adjutant and Inspector General, C. S. A.:

GENERAL: I inclose herewith a map of the field of operations of this army before Richmond, which I desire to have put with my report of the battles before Richmond, sent in to your office with my letter of the 12th ultimo.

I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,

R. E. LEE,
General.



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GENERAL ORDERS No. 75.

HEADQUARTERS IN THE FIELD,
July 7, 1862.

The general commanding, profoundly grateful to the only Giver of all victory for the signal success with which He has blessed our arms, tenders his warmest thanks and congratulations to the army, by whose valor such splendid results have been achieved.

On Thursday, June 26, the powerful and thoroughly-equipped army of the enemy was intrenched in works vast in extent and most formidable in character within sight of our capital. To-day the remains of that confident and threatening host lie upon the banks of James River, 30 miles from Richmond, seeking to recover, under the protection of his gunboats, from the effects of a series of disastrous defeats.

The battle, beginning on the afternoon of June 26 above Mechan-icsville, continued until the night of July 1, with only such intervals as were necessary to pursue and overtake the fleeing foe. His strong intrenchments and obstinate resistance were overcome, and our army swept resistlessly down the north side of the Chickahominy until it reached the rear of the enemy and broke his communication with the York, capturing or causing the destruction of many valuable stores, and by the decisive battle of Friday forcing the enemy from his line of powerful fortifications on the south side of the Chickahominy and driving him to a precipitate retreat. This victorious army pursued as rapidly as the obstructions placed by the enemy in his rear would permit, three times overtaking his fleeing column and as often driving him with slaughter from the field, leaving his numerous dead and wounded in our hands in every conflict. The immediate fruits of our success are the relief of Richmond from a state of siege; the rout of the great army that so long menaced its safety; many thousand prisoners, including officers of high rank; the capture or destruction of stores to the value of millions, and the acquisition of thousands of arms and forty pieces of superior artillery.

The service rendered to the country in this short but eventful period can scarcely be estimated, and the general commanding cannot adequately express his admiration of the courage, endurance, and soldierly conduct of the officers and men engaged. These brilliant results have cost us many brave men; but while we mourn the loss of our gallant dead let us not forget that they died nobly in defense of their country's freedom, and have linked their memory with an event that will live forever in the hearts of a grateful people.

Soldiers, your country will thank you for the heroic conduct you have displayed- conduct worthy of men engaged in a cause so just and sacred, and deserving a nation's gratitude and praise.

By command of General Lee:
R. H. CHILTON,
Assistant Adjutant-General


   





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