At night I established my picket line on my line of skirmishers, having advanced it on the right more than one-half a mile.
H. G. BERRY,
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, July 5, 1862.
CAPTAIN: At 12.30 at night of 29th June I received orders to be prepared to fall back from the position that my brigade occupied on the left of the line to the second line of defenses and to pass to the same by the Saw-mill road, my pickets to be kept to the front and my brigade to fall back after the First and Second Brigades. I made the necessary preparations, and at 3 a.m. the First and Second Brigades moved, together with two sections of Thompson's battery, which was in the redoubt on my immediate front. At 4 a.m. I filed my command to the rear by regiments, the Third Michigan covering our rear, taking with them the remaining section of Thompson's battery. We passed to the second line of defenses by way of the saw-mill, having succeeded in withdrawing our pickets without confusion or loss. We took position on the left of the earthwork in the skirt of the woods fronting the plain, the Second Michigan Volunteers, Major Dillman, guarding the approaches via saw-mill, as well as picketing our front to connect with those of the First Brigade, which together covered our front from the saw-mill to the Williamsburg road.
At 2.30 p.m. the general of division sent for me to pass down and examine the fords, in conformity to an order from corps headquarters. I immediately did so. I found Jordon's Ford in a bad condition, requiring some considerable labor to finish the crossing, and I ordered it done by the Fourth Maine Regiment, there on fatigue duty. I also passed down to Fisher's Ford, and found that a little labor would put that in good condition for infantry. I also ordered that work commenced immediately. Colonel Walker put on extra men, and I am happy to state the ford was in an hour made passable.
At this time, say 3.45 p.m., and orderly came for me, ordering me to report to division headquarters. I returned as rapidly as possible, and when within a mile of camp met my brigade, under command of Colonel Hayman, moving toward the ford. Colonel Hayman informed me that we were to cross the swamp at Jordon's Ford, and that the division as well as the army was on the move. I passed on to headquarters of division for instructions, and when I reached there the general of division was absent. I immediately returned to my brigade. I passed down the road, and when I reached Jordon's Ford I examined it again, and concluded it was not possible to pass a large body of men over it with any rapidity, and knowing the next ford was in good condition I pushed on for that. I passed over it with my command, except the Second Michigan, which had been on picket and was in the rear of the troops of our corps. After passing the ford I took the Charles City road to the left and joined General Sykes' command, and took position on his front.
At 3 a.m. June 30 I reported my command to the general of division. We were moved, by order of the general of division, forward to a position on the left of the Charles City road, my right resting upon it and my left on a swamp. We arrived in this position at 5 a.m. At 11.30