From the book:
"The Civil War Through the Camera" with "Elson's New History"
In Sixteen Parts
Comprising a Complete History of the Civil War
Part Three

by Henry W. Elson, Professor of History, Ohio University
Published in 1912 by the Patriot Publishing Company, Springfield, Massachusetts

Photographs from Chapter Three:
"Fair Oaks.....In Sight of Richmond"

To read Chapter Three, click on flags below
Ramparts that Baffled McClellan.  
Hasty fortifications of the
Confederates at Yorktown.  It was
against such fortifications as these
which Magruder had hastily
reenforced with sand-bags, that
McClellan spent a month preparing his
heavy batteries.  Magruder had far too
few soldiers to man his long line of
defenses properly, and his position
could have been taken by a single
determined attack.  This rampart was
occupied by the Confederate general,
D. H. Hill, who had been the first to
enter Yorktown in order to prepare it
for siege.  He was the last to leave it
on the night of May 3, 1862.
Wrecked ordnance.  Gun exploded by
the Confederates on General Hill's
rampart, Yorktown.  Although the
Confederates abandoned 200 pieces of
ordnance at Yorktown, they were able
to render most of them useles before
leaving.  Hill succeeded in terrorizing
the Federals with grap-shot, and some
of this was left behind.  After the
evacuation, the ramparts were overrun
by Union trophy seekers.  The soldier
resting his hands upon his musket is
one of the Zouaves whose bright and
novel uniforms were so conspicuous
early in the war.  This spot was
directly on the line of the British
fortification of 1781.  
Another voiceless gun.  Confederate
ramparts southeast of Yorktown.  A
32-pounder Navy gun which had been
burst, wrecking its embrasure.  The
Federal soldier seated on the
sand-bags is on guard-duty to prevent
camp-followers from looting the
vacant fort.
The missing rifle.  Extensive sand-bag
fortifications of the Confederates at
Yorktown.  The shells and carriage
were left behind by the Confederates,
but the rifled gun to which they
belonged was taken along in the
retreat.  Such pieces as they could not
remove they spiked.
Guns the union lost and recovered.  
A two-gun Confederate battery in
the entrenchments south of
Yorktown.  The near gun is a
32-pounder Navy; the far one, a
24-pounder siege-piece.  More than
3,000 pieces of Naval ordnance fell
into the hands of the Confederates
early in the war, through the
ill-advised and hasty abandonment of
Norfolk Navy Yard by the Federals.  
Many of these guns did service at
yorktown and subsequently on the
James River against the Union.
The Confederate Command of the
River.  Battery Magruder, Yorktown.  
Looking north up the river, four of the
five 8-inch Columbiads composing this
section of the battery are visible.  The
grape-shot and spherical shells, which
had been gathered in quantities to
prevent the Federal fleet from passing
up the river, were abandoned on the
hasty retreat of the Confederates, the
guns being spiked.  The vessels in the
river are transport ships, with the
exception of the frigate just off shore.
Confederate Capital, Richmond, Virginia
General G. W. Smith, CSA
General D. H. Hill, CSA
View of the City of Richmond
The advance that became a retreat.  Here, almost within
sight of Richmond, we see McCLellan's soldiers preparing the
way for the passage of the army and its supplies.  The soil
along the Chickahominy was so marshy that, in order to move
the supply trains and artillery from the base,  across the river
to the army, corduroy approaches to the bridges had to be
built.  It was well that the men got this early practice in
road-building.    McClellan was able to unite the divided
wings of the army almost at will.
"Regulars" near Fair Oaks, officers of McClellan's Horse Artillery Brigade.  
These trained soldiers lived up to the promise in their firm-set features.  
Major Hays and five of his Lieutenants and Captains here, Pennington,
Tidball, Hains, Robertson and Barlow had, by 1865, become general
officers.  From left to right (standing) are Edward Pendleton, A. C. M.
Pennington, Henry Benson, H. M. Gibson, J. M. Wilson, J. C. Tidball, W. N.
Dennison; (sitting) P. C. Hains, H. C. Gibson, William Hays, J. M. Robertson,
J. W. Barlow; (on ground) R. H. Chapin, Robert Clarke, A. C. Vincent.
Professor Lowe in his balloon.  As soon as Professor Lowe's balloon soars above
the top of the trees the Confederate batteries will open upon him, and for the
next few moments shells and bullets from the shrapnel will be bursting and
whistling about his ears.  Then he will pass out of the danger-zone to an altitude
beyond the reach of the Confederate artillery.  After the evacuation of Yorktown,
May 4, 1862, Professor Lowe, who had been making daily observations from his
balloon, followed McClellan's divisions, which was to meet Longstreet next day at
Williamsburg.  On reaching the fortifications of the abandoned city, Lowe
directed the men who were towing the still inflated balloon in which he was
riding to scale the corner of the fort nearest to his old camp, where the last gun
had been fired the night before.  This fort had devoted a great deal of effort to
attempting to damage the too inquisitive balloon, and a short time previously one
of the best Confederate guns had burst, owing to over-charging and too great an
elevation to reach the high altitude.  The balloonist had witnessed the explosion
and a number of gunners had been killed and wounded within his sight.  His
present visit was in order to touch and examine the pieces and bid farewell to
what he then looked upon as a departed friend.  This is indicated as the same gun
shown in photo above.
The photograph the balloonist recognized forty-eight years after.  "When
I saw the photograph showing my inflation of the balloon Intrepid to
reconnoiter the battle of Fair Oaks," wrote Professor T. S. C. Lowe in the
American review of Reviews for February, 1911, "it surprised me very
much indeed.  Anyone examining the picture will see my hand at the
extreme right, resting on the network, where I was measuring the
amount of gas already in the balloon, preparatory to completing the
inflation from gas in the smaller balloon in order that I might ascent to a
greater height.  This I did within a space of five minutes, saving a whole
hour aaat the most vital point of the battle."  It truly is remarkable that
Professor Lowe should have seen and recognized, nearly half a century
afterward, this photograph taken at one of the most critical moments of
his life.
The slaughter field at Fair Oaks.  Over this ground the fiercest fighting of the
two days' battle took place, on May 31, 1862.  Some 400 soldiers were buried
here, where they fell, and their hastily dug graves appear plainly in the
picture.  In the redoubt seen just beyond the two houses was the center of the
Federal line of battle, equi-distant, about a mile and a half, from both Seven
Pines and Fair Oaks.  The entrenchments near these farm dwellings were begun
on May 28th by Casey's Division, 4th Corps.  There was not time to finish them
before the Confederate attack opened the battle, and the artillery of Casey's
Division was hurriedly placed in position behind the incomplete works.
                 Elson's New History of the Civil War - Chapter 3, Fair Oaks (Seven Pines)

                                                             Battle of Seven Pine Index
The unfinished redoubt.  Here
we see the inside of the
redoubt at the left
background of the picture
above.  The scene is just
before the battle and picks
and shovels were still busy
throwing up the
embankments to strengthen
the center of the Federal
defense.  Casey's artillery was
being hurriedly brought up.  
In the background General
Sickles' Brigade appears
drawn up in line of battle.  
When the Confederates first
advanced, Casey's artillery
did telling work, handsomely
repelling the attack early in
the afternoon of May 31st.  
Later in the day, Confederate
sharp-shooters from vantage
points in neighboring trees
began to pick off the officers
and the gunners and the
redoubt had to be
relinquished.  The abandoned
guns were turned against the
retreating Federals.
The "redhot battery."  On the afternoon of May 31st, at Fair Oaks, the
Confederates were driving the Federal soldiers through the woods in
disorder when this battery (McCarthy's) together with Miller's battery
opened up with so continuous and severe a fire that the Federals were able
to make a stand and hold their own for the rest of the day.  The guns grew
so hot from constant firing that it was only with the greatest care that they
could be swabbed and loaded. These earthworks were thrown up for
McCarthy's Battery, Company C, 1st Pennsylvania Artillery, near Savage's
Station.  The soldiers nicknamed it the "Redhot Battery."
"Flying Artillery" in the attempt on Richmond.  The cannoneers who kept up with
the cavalry, in this swiftest branch of the service each man rides horseback.  Here
are drawn up Harry Benson's Battery A, of the Second United States Artillery, and
Haratio Gates GIbson's Batteries C and G, combined of the Third United States
Artillery, near Fair Oaks, Virginia.  They arrived just a short time too late to
participate in the battle.  They were in Yorktown and the Seven Days.
Aiming the guns at Fair Oaks.  Here we see the beginning of the lull in the
fighting of the second day at Fair Oaks, which it has been asserted led to a fatal
delay and the ruin of McClellan's Peninsula Campaign.  The first day's battle at
Fair Oaks, May 31, 1862, was decidedly a Federal reverse which would have
developed into a rout had not Sumner, crossing his troops on the perilous
Grapevine Bridge, come up in time to rally the retreating men.  Here we see
some of them within the entrenchments at Fair Oaks Station on the Richmond and
York River Railroad.  The order will soon come to cease firing at the end of the
second day's fighting, the result of which was to drive the Confederates back to
Richmond.  McClellan did not pursue.  The heavy rainstorm on the night of May
30th had made the movement of artillery extremely difficult, and McClellan
waited to complete the bridges and build entrenchments before advancing.  This
delay gave the Confederates time to reorganize their forces and place them under
the new commander, Robert E. Lee, who, while McClellan lay inactive, effected a
junction with "Stonewall" Jackson.
Text is just as it appears in book, including spelling & punctuation.  Nancy Brister