About this time the enemy appeared in force in front and drove the skirmishers from the front back upon the main body. The attack then became general along the whole line of our front. Shortly after Lieutenant-Colonel Carman was wounded and taken to the rear. I then called in the skirmishers from the left, and directed Captain Bartlett to act as major and assist me on the left of the battalion.
By this time the fire had become extremely hot, and my men were falling rapidly all around me. The enemy were drawn up less than 50 yards in front of us in vastly superior numbers and sheltered by the thick brush and a ravine, while our troops were in open wood and fully exposed to a most murderous fire, which they bore with great firmness, exhibiting the coolness and steadiness of veterans. Though several time driven back from their position they rallied again and again, and had re-enforcements reached us in time we could doubtless not only have been able to hold our ground, but have driven the enemy back upon their works behind the woods. As it was, it was not until nearly 3 o'clock, after six hours of severe fighting, that we finally retired, in obedience to orders, having expended all our ammunition and become completely exhausted and very much cut up, having lost nearly one-third of the men we took into the action. My officers and men all behaved in the best manner, and almost every one proved himself a hero.
It is a difficult matter to mark individual instances where all displayed such valor and coolness, but I cannot but remark the conduct of Captain Bartlett, Company C; Captain Sims, Company I; First Lieutenant Thompson, Company A; First Lieutenant Witherell, commanding Company F; Second Lieutenant William J. Harrison, Company C; Acting Sergeant-Major Crane, Color-Sergeant Onslow, and Sergeant Maloy, who all displayed unflinching courage, coupled with remarkable coolness, under the heavy fire to which they were exposed.
I cannot close my report without mentioning Dr. J. D. Rose, our chaplain, who assisted the surgeons both on the field and in the hospitals, and did good service wherever it was needed.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
FRANCIS PRICE, Jr.,
Major, Commanding Seventh New Jersey Volunteers.
Captain CHARLES M. PREVOST,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.
No. 23. Report of Brigadier General Philip Kearny,
U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.
HDQRS. THIRD DIVISION, HEINTZELMAN'S CORPS, Williamsburg, Va., May 6, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on receiving orders on the 5th instant at 9 a.m. the division took up its line of march, and shortly after came upon the crowded columns before us. At 10.45 a.m. an order was received from General Sumner to pass all others and to proceed to the support of General Hooker, already engaged. With difficulty and loss of time my division at length made its way through the masses of troops and trains that encumbered the deep, muddy single defile, until at the Brick Church my route was to the left.