near Peake's Station, for the information of the general commanding in chief, in compliance with paragraph 743 of Army Regulations. My brigade consisted of the following regiments: Eighteenth Massachusetts, commanded by Colonel Barnes; Twenty-fifth New York, commanded by Colonel Johnson; Thirteenth New York, commanded by Colonel Marshall; Twenty-second Massachusetts, command by Colonel Gove; Second Maine, commanded by Colonel Roberts. Previous to the 27th instant the Thirteenth New York had been sent on detached service and was separated from the brigade. On the morning and afternoon of the 26th of May the Eighteenth Massachusetts had been sent on picket duty and were not relieved so as to return to camp until the morning of the 27th. They were detained in consequence, and did not leave camp and arrive at Hanover in time for the battle.
I broke camp and started for Hanover Courth-House shortly after 3.30 o'clock a.m. in the midst of a heavy rain, through a muddy and tedious road, with my remaining three regiments, and in the following order, viz: First, the Twenty-fifth New York; second, the Twenty-second Massahusetts; third, the Second Maine. Martin's battery was placed between the Twenty-fifth New York and
Twenty-second Massachusetts. On the route the column was halted and Berdan's regiment of sharpshooters passed to the front of my brigade. Still farther on the route I received orders to throw forward a regiment to precede the whole column as skirmishers, and I sent the Twenty-fifth New York, which in officer and men was nearly 400 strong. I was thus left with only two of my regiments under my immediate command, wiz, the Twenty-second Massachusetts and Second Maine, the former about 800 and the latter about 350 strong.
In this order my brigade proceeded until I reached the commanding general of the army corps at the junction of our route with the main road from Richmond to Hanover Court-House, being a point about 1 mile east of Peake's Station. Herewith I transmit a diagram on which distance have been entered after actual admeasurement by pacing them. The diagram is as correct as it can be made without surveyors' instruments. * * * I then received orders from the general commanding the army corps to move to the left along the Richmond road, skirmishers as I advanced, and to strike the railroad, break it up, cut the telegraph wires, and drive back the enemy, should I meet one, and in executing these orders to use my discretion. A section of Benson's battery was furnished for the purpose.
At this on the left and west of the route by which we had approached from New Bridge was cleared land, and north side of which was bounded bby a dense wood for a length of 700 yards. On the edge of this wood was a ditch and bank surmounted by a close wicker fence. At 592 paces or yards on the left or west of the junction of our route from New Bridge with the Richmond and Hanover road was a house with outbuilding, doo-yard and garden. West of the garden and yards was a swampy piece of ground, which made a clearing of about 200 paces, when woods were again reached. Passing through these woods about 100 yards cleared ground was again reached about 300 paces from the junction of the highway to Richmond and railroad. From this junction the railroad bore in a straight course northeasterly toward Hanover Court-House, passing through a large wheat field until it entered the dense woods north of the highway and doo-ryard already described.
I proceeded to execute the orders given to me by forming the Twenty-second Massachusetts in line of battle, and the regiment advanced, preceded