1862 May 31 near the Chickahominy

[from the diary of Jonathan Hager of the 14th U.S. Regulars, as copied and annotated at a later date]

May 31  Saturday–While lounging away the hours
to day towards the afternoon heavy firing
of cannon & musquetry was heard a short
distance in front.  This was the famous battle
of Fair oaks.  The noise was tremendous
and as we expected we got orders to move
in that direction.  The entire division of
regulars was soon ready and we marched
towards Woodbury’s bridge on the Chickahominy
where the firing seemed to be.  We halted a
little below Dr Gaines’ House from where the
bursting of shells could be distinctly seen
& heard.  We stayed here till night and as the
darkness came on could see the flashes of
light from the shells as they burst in the air.
We were not wanted however and after dark
we returned to Camp.  Orders were issued to
be up at early dawn next day and be in
readiness for a move,

MSS 9044 

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