1862 June 30 before Richmond,Va.

[from the diary of Jonathan B. Hager of the 14th U.S. Regulars as copied and annotated by him at a later time]

June 30  Up at 4 o’clock this morning. Our bagage and
             company property was deposited at Savage Station
             on the Richmond & York River Rail Road, as we
             came by this station on Saturday night, we were
             ordered to take from our Comany clerks the
             last Muster-Roll of our respective Companies.
             I also went to my bundle of bedding & took out
             the cape of my overcoat. The rest an immense
             pile of stuff was committed to the flames.  I
             lost a Mattress, Pillow, Overcoat, Cloak, a
             Splendid large woollen shawl a fine bed-quilt
             and all my company books & papers except the
             muster roll.  This was done in order to cut down
             the transportation of the army, which up to
             that time was immense.  We feared to day that
             our valises were also destroyed.  It was very certain
             we had nothing with us & we arose this morning
             feeling very ragged & dirty & no water to wash in–
             At 6 oclock A.M. we started for James River.  It was
             an immense army. about 1 P.M. our rear guard
             was attacked, the firing was very heavy,  at 2 PM.
             the fire still continued very heavy & the attacking
             force was driven back. Thus passed the hours
             until 6 P.M.  At this time the entire army except
             the rear-guard had concentrated upon the
             grand plateau of Malvern Hill.  A host of
             infantry & cavalry.  Hundreds of great guns,
             twenty five to fifty miles of wagons, ambulances
             and all the ten thousand items that go to
             make up the appliances of a great army–
             At this hour the cannonading opened–The
             entire artillery on both sides seemed engaged,
             and for one hour the scene was indescribably
             grand. The deafning noise of hundreds of
             pieces of artillery. The bursting of shells in the
             air; the air was filled almost to suffocation
             with the smoke of gunpowder; the sun looked
             lurid through the dense clouds of smoke.  The
             scene was beyound anything I have heard before
             or since.  It was worth all our trials and
             privations to have been there.  In this
             affair our Gunboats also took part.  They
             were superb.   Amid the hundreds of missiles
             flying through the air, those of the gunboats
             could be distinguished by their noise it
             being much greater & the noise of the bursting
             of the shells being vastly louder than field
             pieces.  The battle continued on our right till
             nearly 10 oclock at night, when it ceased &
             we were permitted to take some rest.
             This was Muster day too—Several times we
             had formed in column for that purpose–in the
             morning, when the rebel shells would commence
             flying in very close proximity to us.  We would
             wheel rapidly into line & prepare for an attack.
             We finally succeeded in finishing our Muster.
             Even though the rebels were determined we should not.

             MSS  9044

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