War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0554 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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enemy who were rushing upon us, my regiment, loudly cheering, moved rapidly and steadily to the front, with their colors advanced and their line accurate. A regiment of the enemy was advanced to the woods on my left. I deployed by the left flank two of my companies (I and K, Captains De Witt and Neice) as skirmishers, and covered the left of the line, and held the woods until the enemy retreated. As far as possible all random and desultory firing was prevented. My men were ordered to fire low and select their mark, and they obeyed. It would seem impossible for any more trying circumstances to surround a regiment than those which, in common with the other regiments of the brigade, pressed on my men. They were weary, had lost sleep, made a forced march over bad roads in wretched weather, and were for the first time confronting their enemy in line of battle.

The admirable discipline of the brigade gave the men the coolness of veterans. My guides were thrown on the line, and it was formed under fire as if on parade. It would be invidious for me to name as worthy of praise any of my officers when all alike deserve it, but I cannot omit to state how well I was supported by Lieutenant-Colonel Brisbane, Major Hulings, and my adjutant, Lieutenant E. D. Smith; and that my assistant surgeon, Huber, was present during the action at his post near the regiment, promptly attended to our wounded, and then repaired to the general hospital and gave most efficient aid. The surgeon, Dr. Gobrecht, was absent, by order, on detached duty at brigade hospital.

I am, captain, your obedient servant,

W. H. IRWIN,

Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

Captain JOHN HANCOCK,

Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade, Smith's Division.

No. 54. Report of Colonel Amasa Cobb,

Fifth Wisconsin Infantry.

HDQRS. FIFTH REGIMENT WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS,

Camp No. 11, in the Field, May 6, 1862.

GENERAL: I have the honor to report that yesterday, the 5th instant, at about 10 o'clock a.m., pursuant to your orders, and following you, I marched my regiment, the Fifth Wisconsin Volunteers, from Whittaker's farm (where I had lain on my arms the previous night) by the road to the right, striking the line of the enemy's works near Queen's Creek. Upon arriving where the road debouches in a large open field, I turned to the left and deployed my regiment, facing the right earthwork of the enemy on the opposite side of Queen's Creek, throwing out skirmishers on my front and left, under the immediate command of Major C. H. Larabee. I crossed the stream at double-quick and occupied the work, which I found deserted by the enemy. I then marched my regiment out of the work and formed in line of battle facing the second work, which was distant about 800 yards. Here I was joined by other regiments of the brigade and a battery of artillery, which formed on my left.

Receiving your order to advance, I threw out Companies A, E, and G as skirmishers on my front and right and marched upon the enemy's work. This, like the other, was found entirely deserted. From this work three similar but larger works were in plain view at a distance of