From the Charleston Mercury, 6/2/1862
Cor. Savannah Republican.
NEWS BY TELEGRAPH.
HIGHLY IMPORTANT FROM RICHMOND.
THE GREAT BATTLE BEGUN.
VICTORY OF THE SOUTHERN TROOPS.
ADVANCE OF STONEWALL JACKSON BEYOND THE POTOMAC.
OUR FORCES IN MARYLAND.
RICHMOND, Saturday, May 31. - Noon. - There was a violent rain and thunder storm here last evening, which continued for several hours. About nine o’clock the gas works were flooded, leaving the city in total darkness. A skirmish took place, yesterday, on the Williamsburg road, between four companies from the 24th Virginia and 23d North Carolina Regiments, and a Federal Regiment. Our loss was five killed, including Capt. SCARBORO, of North Carolina, and five wounded. A Yankee prisoner taken states that the loss of the enemy was heavy, including a Colonel and Major. A fight in now progressing on the same road, near the Chickahominy river, which is much swollen by the rain of last evening. No reports yet received.
Two o’clock. - The flood in the Chickahominy, caused by the rain, is very heavy. It is reported here that the bridges were washed away, and that three divisions of the enemy were thus caught, unsupported, on this side of the river. Trains of ambulances were sent down from the city at noon. The roar of artillery and musketry can now be distinctly heard here. No courier has yet arrived.
Six o’clock. - The battle has been going on all day near the Chickahominy. All the reports from the field, thus far, are favorable. The engagement is a severe one, and the loss on both sides heavy. Our wounded have been coming into the city for several hours.
Eight o’clock, p.m. - The latest authentic reports from the battle field represent that the enemy had been driven a mile and a half from his position, our forces occupying his camp. We captured three batteries, after most desperate fighting, the enemy being protected by his entrenchments and the woods. Several hundred prisoners are reported taken.
Ten o’clock. - Gen. HILL’S division began the fight this morning, RHODES and GARLAND’S brigades bearing the brunt of the battle for some time. RAINS’ and ANDERSON’S brigades also bore a conspicuous part in the engagement, until our reinforcements arrived. The enemy was also reinforced and the fighting continued with great desperation on both sides. The enemy was finally driven from his redoubts and his batteries were turned upon him. Prisoners taken say that Gen. BUELL was in command. President DAVIS and Gen. LEE were on the field, their presence increasing the enthusiasm of our troops. All accounts agree that the Confederates displayed great bravery. The enemy stubbornly contested every inch, whilst giving way before the impetuous charges of our forces. No trustworthy estimate of the casualties has yet been received. A great number of the Confederates were wounded in the arm and hand. Gen. RHODES was slightly wounded. No other general officer on our side hurt as far as known. About seven o’clock in the evening the enemy tried to make a flank movement, but was repulsed by General WHITING’S division.
It is believed that the fight will be renewed tomorrow. The community here is in good spirits, and confident of victory.
SUNDAY, June 1, a.m. - The battle yesterday took place in the vicinity of Boar Swamp, between the Railroad and the Williamsburg Road, seven miles from the city. The accounts sent yesterday, were, in the main, correct. More cannonading has been heard this morning.
Northern papers of the 28th inst. brought from the battle field state that McClellan telegraphed to the Yankee Secretary of War that battle at Hanover Court House resulted in the complete rout of the enemy, with a rebel loss of 1000. This, of course, is a Yankee falsehood. The Federal loss on the occasion is admitted to have been 379 - killed, wounded and missing. The Philadelphia Inquirer says that Stonewall JACKSON’S success aroused the North, [next line illegible] The confiscation bill has passed the Yankee House of Representative. GEO. F. SHEPLEY, of Maine, is appointed Military Commander of New Orleans, in the absence of BUTLER.
Five o’clock, p.m. - The battle has been progressing furiously to-day - the artillery being chiefly engaged. No definite reports have been received from the field of battle. The general tenor of the statements of wounded soldiers indicates that the Confederates are following up the success of yesterday. Prisoners are constantly coming in. BUELL was not present. MCCLELLAN commanded in person. It is now believed that the larger portion of the Yankee army is on this side of the Creek. Gen. HUTTON, of Tennessee, was killed yesterday.
Six o’clock, p.m. - No definite accounts have been received of the result of the battle to-day; but all the reports agree that the enemy has been badly beaten and driven into the swamp. The carnage on both sides was dreadful. The Yankee loss was two to our one. Hundreds of wounded are arriving in the city. About five hundred prisoners, in all, have, thus far, been brought in.
(Note. - Gen. Jos. R. ANDERSON, formerly of the Tredegar Works, is said to have command of two brigades; his own, of five regiments from Virginia, Georgia, North and South Carolina - the latter consisting of the First Palmetto Regiment, under Lieut. Col. GUS SMITH, all under command of the Senior Colonel, DANIEL HAMILTON; and Gen. GREGG’S brigade, said to consist of North Carolina troops not long in service.)