Today in History:

109 Series I Volume XI-II Serial 13 - Peninsular Campaign Part II


duct of the First Massachusetts, and to Company B, Captain Littlefield, Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, as reported by their brigade commander.

At this moment, about 11 o'clock, from some misapprehension of my true condition at general headquarters, orders were sent to withdraw my command from the contest, and at the same time Brigadier-General Birney, at the head of his brigade, gallantly tendered me his services, which from the character of my instructions I was constrained to decline, and the brigade returned to its camp.

Suddenly the major-general commanding the army, appearing on the field and learning the state of affairs, gave directions for me to resume and finish the duty assigned me the night previous. The Second New York, Regiment Carr's brigade,under Lieutenant-Colonel Olmsted, took the place of the Seventh Regiment New Jersey Volunteers, which had been withdrawn from the advance during the suspension of our operations,and the line again moved forward under a severe fire from our adversaries, when Olmsted's regiment established itself on the right of the line which we were to occupy. About this time Palmer's brigade, from Couch's division, came up, and soon after a section of De Russy's Napoleons arrived, and on being judiciously posted and brought int action by that brave and accomplished officer, they opened with canister to the right and left of the Williamsburg road and literally swept the jungles of rebels. A part of Palmer's brigade had been assigned the section as support, while the remaining regiments deployed and took the advance of the infantry on this part of the field and immediately moved forward to the outer edge of the woods.

I respectfully call the attention of the commander of the corps to the report of Brigadier-General Palmer of the services of his command. As it has not been received by me, I can only add my testimony to that of others to their courage and good conduct.

After the undergrowth had been cleared of rebels the section opened fire with great effect on the rebel encampment on the side of the field opposite their position. These pieces were worked under the immediate charge of Lieutenant Henderson, and this young officer deserves especial mention for the skill and intrepidity he displayed in the performance of his duty. At 7 o'clock my command was withdrawn and our new line turned over to Brigadier-General Palmer to defend for the night.

In this affair our loss was 28 killed, 262 wounded, and 19 missing. The reports of brigade and regimental commanders are herewith transmitted. In all of our encounters with the enemy my brigade commanders have uniformly rendered me, by their zeal, activity, and intelligence, a generous support but on this field, from its character, I was more than ever indebted to them. To them should be accorded the merit of our success, and to their prudence and excellent arrangement the limited loss with which it was achieved. I desire to make especial mention of Brigadier-General Sickles for his great gallantry in rallying a part of the Seventy-first New York Regiment and returning it to action after it had given way, and Brigadier-General Grover, for the skillful disposition of his force and his gallant use of it in accomplishing our object. I desire also to call especial attention of the major-general commanding the Third Corps to all the commanders of the regiments of the First and Second Brigades; to Colonel Revere, of the Seventh New Jersey Regiment; Major Henry, Fifth New Jersey, and Lieutenant-Colonel Olmsted, of the Second New York Regiment. It was on their courage and intelligence that our success in a great meas-