Today in History:

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


I am especially indebted to Surgeon Prentice, Fourth Regiment for the services which he rendered as a volunteer aide during most of the day. His presence near the line of battle was frequently most opportune for timely attention to the wounded, considering how far in the rear the hospital was established, and in the intervals of professional employment he displayed the courage and bearing of a soldier in conveying my orders over the field.

Attention is respectfully invited to the references made by regimental commanders to the officers and men of their commands who were conspicuous for their good conduct in this affair. Colonel Graham has brought to my notice especially Sergeants Vanderzee, Page, and Whitney, and Sergeant-Major Chamberlain, of the Fifth Excelsior.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Hooker's Division.

NOTE.- Major Hammerstein, of General McClellan's staff, is the officer who so gallantly aided in rallying the portion of Colonel Hall's Second Excelsior Regiment that gave way.

S. P. H., B. G.


July 9, 1862

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that late at night on the 28th ultimo orders were received from division headquarters to be ready to move at daylight the following morning, with three days' cooked rations in haversacks. This order was accompanied by instructions to employ all our available means of transportation in bringing away intrenching tools, ammunition, subsistence, and hospital stores, and to send the train to the rear immediately. Such camp and garrison equipage, subsistence, clothing, and other stores as could not be removed I was directed to destroy. These orders were executed.

Early next morning my command broke camp, and pursuant to orders marched to the defenses in front. The pioneers of the several regiments were detailed, under the command of Lieutenant Van. B. Bates First Regiment to destroy all the property left in the camps.

In obedience to the order of the brigadier-general commanding the division, as soon as our pickets were withdrawn and the artillery had moved to the rear the division marched in column to the first line of defenses in the rear, this brigade on the left. Lieutenant Bates with his pioneers followed the column as a rear guard, felling timber and placing obstacles in the road. Captain Leonard's company, Third Excelsior, was thrown out as a picket between the old camp and our new position.

The division formed in line of battle on the first line of earthworks, between the Williamsburg road and the railroad my right resting on the left of General Grover. The First and Second Regiments were held in reserve on my right and left flank. We remained in this position while General Sumner was engaged on our right-annoyed occasionally by the explosion of some of the enemy's shell within our lines, killing 2 and wounding 5 of my men.