Today in History:

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


These prisoners were sent to the rear in charge of Captain Chester, of my staff, with directions to report with them to the division or corps commander, and in their absence to turn them over to the nearest provost-marshall. My loss during the day was limited to a small number wounded, which is embraced in the list of casualties heretofore reported. I regret exceedingly that Private Patrick Connor, Company E, Third Regiment, was seriously injured by falling from the tree in which he was rendering important service as a look-out. Corporal Bowen Company D, Third Regiment was exceedingly active and useful in discharging the same duties.

During the night we rested on our arms. The enemy was in motion all night. Rations for two days were issued to his men. Parties were constantly sent out for wounded. All commands given were distinctly heard along my line, and especially by my pickets. These commands embraced at least forty regiments, from various States. Just before dawn-indeed, twice during the night-the enemy formed a line of battle in front and extending far beyond my left. These movements were promptly reported to the brigadier-general commanding the division. At daybreak, in pursuance of orders, I called in my pickets and flankers, and withdrew my command, moving by the right flank through the woods to the Quaker road, where I joined the division column and marched with it to Malvern Hill, whither the main body of the army had preceded us.

After remaining in column of battalions for several hours,exposed to the enemy's artillery, fortunately without loss, I was ordered about 2 p.m. to support the First Brigade in front. Covering my men in a ravine on the right, I threw out Captain Bliss' company, Third Regiment, as scouts, and the First and Fourth Regiments (forming one battalion), under Major Holt, as pickets along the interval between the right of the Third Corps and Sumner's left.

Two prisoners taken by Captain Bliss, who were sent to division headquarters, reported a movement of the enemy in force toward our front. This was corroborated by other information and some demonstrations of the enemy, who was then attacking General Porter on our extreme left, so that it appeared evident that a general engagement along the whole line was imminent. Soon afterward, say about 5 p.m. I was ordered to move at once to support General Porter, which order was welcomed and obeyed with admirable spirit by my command. For my operations in that part of the field I have the honor to refer you to the special report made to the assistant adjutant-general of the Fifth Provisional Corps, a duplicate of which is herewith transmitted.

This is an imperfect and barren narrative of the movements of my command during two eventful days and nights. Desiring to confine my report within the appropriate limits sanctioned by usage, yet I cannot close this communication without putting on record my heartfelt testimony to the fortitude and constancy-traits rarer than courage- which signalized alike my officers and men in all the critical positions, the anxious vigils, the arduous marches, and the severe privations which they shared in common with this army in its successful movement to a new and distant base of operations.

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


Brigadier-General, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Hooker's Division.