Sunday, January 29, 2017

Battle of Seven Pines May 31,1862: Whiting's Attack Part 1

~Orders of Battle~
Union Forces

BG Edwin Sumner II Corps Army of the Potomac
approx 7,500 men

BG John Sedgwick 2nd Division
BG William Burn's Brigade

69th PA Inf                        6 stands
71st PA Inf                        6 stands
72nd PA Inf                        6 stands
106th PA Inf                       6 stands

BG Napoleon Dana's Brigade

7th MI Inf                           7 stands
20th MA Inf                        7 stands

BG Willis Gorman's Brigade

15th MA Inf                        5 stands
34th NY Inf                         5 stands
82nd NY Inf                        5 stands

BG John Ambercrombie's Brigade (from Keyes IV Corps, Couch's  First Division)

65th NY Inf                          6 stands
23rd PA Inf                           6 stands
61st PA Inf                            6 stands
67th PA Inf                            4 stands

Confederate Forces

BG William H.C. Whiting's Division
approx 10,000 men

Col. Evander Law's Brigade

4th AL Inf                   5 stands
2nd MS Inf                   5 stands
6th NC Inf                     5 stands
11th MS Inf                  5 stands

BG J. Johnson Pettigrew's Brigade

47th VA Inf                   5 stands
35th GA Inf                  5 stands
22nd NC Inf                   5 stands
2nd ARK Inf                   5 stands

BG Robert Hatton's Brigade

7th TN Inf                      6 stands
1st TN Inf                      6 stands
14th TN Inf                    6 stands

BG Wade Hampton's Brigade

Hampton's Legion Inf       4 stands
16th NC Inf                      6 stands
14th GA Inf                       6 stands
19th GA Inf                     6 stands

BG John B. Hood's Brigade

1st TX Inf                     5 stands
4th TX Inf                     5 stands
5th TX Inf                     5 stands

At 3:00pm Sedgwick's Division of Sumner's II Corps reaches the battlefield. They deploy in support of Keyes VI Corps. This extends the Union flank across the Richmond and York River Rail Road. At 4:00pm. General Whiting's Division is ordered to advance down the Nine Mile Road in support of D.H. Hill's attack.

The Richmond and York River Rail Road can be seen running left to right (west to east)  at the bottom of the pic. General Whitings Division can be seen traveling down the Nine Mile Road towards the Fair Oaks Rail Road Station. Sedgwick's Division is on the road coming from the Grapevine Bridge.

Fair Oaks Station.

BG Napoleon Dana's Brigade in the lead.

BG Evander Law's Brigade

MG Joseph E Johnston

BG Willis Gorman's Brigade

Hood's Texas Brigade.

BG John Hood's Texas Brigade.

Union Division commander. BG John Sedgwick

BG John Ambercrombie's Brigade

BG Wade Hampton and his brigade.

BG John H Hatton and his Tennessee Brigade

BG William H.C. Whiting commanding the division.

BG  J. Johnson Pettigrew and his brigade

General Johnston surveys the divisions movement down the road.

Ambercrombie's Brigade advances through the woods north of the Fair Oaks station. 

Whiting's Division heading towards the junction with the Rail Road station Hampton's Brigade in support in the woods to the right.

Turn 1. Federal Initiative  BG Dana's Brigade goes into line with BG Sedgwick's help BG Gorman's Brigade goes into line as well. Burns and Ambercrombies brigades advance through the woods. All Confederate Brigades go into line. Law's Brigade adjusts it's line to face Dana's Brigade. Hampton and Hood's Brigades in the opposite tree line also advance forward.

Col. Evander Law's Brigade goes into line as quickly as possible. Law's Brigade represents the right flank of the Confederate Assault.

BG Napoleon Dana's Brigade readies itself for Law's attack

Another View of Hood's Texas Brigade.

BG William Whiting with his men.

BG John Sedgwick orders his men forward.

Turn 2. Confederate Initiative. Colonel Law, not wanting to waste any time, orders his brigade to open fire. The 2nd Ms Infantry open fire on the 7th MI Infantry Regt. with devastating effectiveness.  The 7th MI returns fire at the Mississippians with equal ferocity and deadly marksmanship.

"Ready............Aim............. FIRE!!"

Union troops from Ambercrombie and Burns' Brigades advance through the woods.

MG Joe Johnston on the field.

BG Pettigrew's Brigade enters the woods.

Turn 3. Confederate Initiative. Law advances one of his regiments between the collection of buildings. the position themselves on the 2nd Mississippi's left flank extending their line. Dana's Brigade responds in turn placing a fresh regiment to the right of the 7th Michigan Infantry. the musketry continues as the engagement grows. Finally the 2nd MS Infantry break and retire from the field. The 11th Mississippi stands ready.

Remnants of the 2nd MS in the woods. Hood continues to push his brigade forward in support of Law.

20th MA Infantry from Dana's Brigade face off against Law's Brigade.

BG Gorman in support.

"Keep them moving! Forward men!"

The two opposing Armies grow nearer.

Turn 4. Federal Initiative. BG Dana's Brigade 7th MI Infantry open fire on the freshly arrived 11th Mississippi Infantry. The musketry is deadly and the Mississippi Regiment is shaken. Col. Evander Law is slightly wounded. A Minnie ball scratches his arm. Law takes a handkerchief from his pocket and applies it to his arm.  The 11th Mississippi return fire at the 7th MI. The Federals take more losses.

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The deadly ground between regiments.

20th MA Infantry in contact with the 4th Alabama.

Ambercrombie's Federal Brigade in contact with Pettigrew's Brigade in the thick woods. The battle is about to intensify.

Turn 5. Federal Initiative.  Dana's Federal Brigade continues to hammer on Law's brigade. The Massachusetts and Alabama soldiers let loose with an intense volley. Ambercrombie's Brigade in the woods engages part of both Pettigrew and Hatton's brigades.  Casualties begin to mount. 

Law's Brigade continues to slug it out with the Federals. They refuse to give up the line. The 7th MI Infantry after being in constant action finally gives up the field and retreats. BG Napoleon Dana is shot dead from his horse with a bullet to his chest. 

The 4th Alabama continue to fight it out with the Massachusetts men.

BG Gorman sees the situation in front of his brigade and pushes his men forward to maintain the line.

The battle rages in the woods with both Pettigrew and Hatton's Brigades returning fire 

"General Johnston, Sir? Do you think we are a little close to the front?" asked the Aide. "A leader leads from the front, let's move forward."

General Whiting keeping the moral of his men high as they fight onward.

The 7th Tennessee Infantry and the 23rd Pennsylvania locked in mortal combat. The air becomes thick with black powder and hangs in the air as a veil.

Hatton's Tennessee Brigade holds the extreme Left of the Confederate line. 

Hampton's Brigade emerges from the woods and moves into the road in brigade front formation.

Brigadier General Law slightly wounded. Brigadier General Dana Killed. One Federal Regiment routed. One Confederate Regiment routed. The Action in the woods is just starting as the whole front line comes into contact. The close proximity of the units in the woods guarantees heavy casualties to come. This battle is far from over.
To be continued....