Our proceedings on the 5th, I trust, are not entirely unknown to you. The men displayed the greatest coolness and bravery during the entire action and manifested their power to use their skill to good advantage under a galling fire, which, in my judgment, considering that they were in their first engagement, deserves special notice. There were some instances of personal daring, but as they were owing more to opportunity than anything else, I think the whole command should share any compliment they may receive. I first reconnoitered the ground, and then divided the regiment into companies and detachments, with proper supports and reserves, according to the cover and duties to be performed, which were principally to guard the roads against cavalry, the right and left wings against flankers, and to watch the movements of the enemy, and also groups of from one to one hundred, to pick off gunners and protect batteries. As for myself, I feel amply repaid for the danger I ran in reconnoitering the ground under fire, posting the men, encouraging and directing them through the day, by the confident feeling that we must have killed and wounded several hundred rebels and that I lost only 2 men killed and 4 wounded, notwithstanding that a fire was kept up upon us from the enemy's rifle pits and by shell when they were able to work their guns.
Since the 5th we have sent a detail of 20 to each of three brigades, and sometimes to Hamilton's division. On the 19th instant I sent two companies, A and C, under the charge of Major Trepp, to General Smith's division. They have thus far done good service, getting very near the enemy, digging rifle pits, and yesterday killed 9 certain, and probably more, besides wounding many.
My command are in admirable spirits and to a man are confident of the ultimate success of our arms, and are all anxious to be detailed on picket or other duty where a chance is afforded them to avenge themselves on the rebels, who are attempting to destroy their country.
I have the honor, general, to remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding U. S. Sharpshooters.
Brigadier General FITZ JOHN PORTER,
Numbers 12. Report of Lieutenant Henry W. Kingsbury,
commanding Battery D, Fifth U. S. Artillery, of operations April 5.
SIR: I have the honor to report as follows concerning the firing of Battery D, Fifth Artillery, while under my command on the 5th instant:
About 11 a.m. the battery was placed by your direction on the right of the Rhode Island Battery, which had already engaged the enemy. The Fourth Michigan Regiment, Colonel Woodbury, acted as our support during the day. Our guns opened with percussion shell, the second shot giving the range, about 2,100 yards. We then fired fuse shell and spherical case at the camps within the enemy's intrenchments and at large groups of men who appeared around their guns. The fire was briskly returned by five of their guns (barbette). In ten minutes their fire slackened.