War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0729 Chapter XXIII. HANOVER COURT-HOUSE,ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

to the colonel, who was on foot and wounded. He said his orders were to form behind the house, and I saw part of his command had already reached there. I rode several times across the field, trying to make the men rally behind the fence and make a stand, knowing the small force engaged could not hold out a long time against the superior force of the enemy. Our force at that time had been reduced to the Second Maine Volunteers, who were holding their ground gallantly, and the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers. The Twenty-fifth New York Volunteers and the cannoneers of the artillery had both left the field, the cannoneers abandoning their pieces, and I would say here that in my judgment it was impossible for men to stand in their position, being within most range of a murderous cross-fire a concealed enemy. I felt it my duty to report to the commanding general, whom, I was informed, was only a short distance from us, our situation, which I did, and immediately joined my regiment again.

After the re-enforcements came up, turning the enemy's left, and their fire slackened, I formed my regiment in line of battle and advanced about half-way across the field. Knowing the enemy to be retreating, and sufficient troops having arrived to follow them, I deemed it prudent to halt my command and take care of our dying and wounded men. As soon as they were properly cared for we went into bivouac to the rear of the battle-field, very much wearied, but perfectly satisfied with our share of the day's work.

I cannot let the occasion pass without bringing to notice of the commanding general the noble conduct of all the officers and men in my command. I would especially mention my field and staff officers. Lieutenant Colonel J. C. Rice behaved in the most gallant manner. His horse was shot under him and his sword was shot away from his side, which only appeared to renew his exertions to his duty. He performed deeds of valor we expect only of veterans. Major E. P. Chapin was seriously wounded early in the engagement while gallantly cheering on the men. Adjt. E. B. Knox was also seriously wounded while gallantly urging the men to renewed exertions to repulse the foe, and I would also report before the engagement ended all officers and men were fighting in exposed positions in the road, having nearly gained their original line, being almost out of ammunition, were only waiting orders to show the enemy they knew how to use the bayonet. I have requested Lieutenant-Colonel Rice to report the individual conduct of officers and men which came under his notice during the engagement, which will be sent to you as soon as received. Please find inclosed corrected report of killed, wounded, and missing.*

All of which is respectfully submitted.

I remain, captain, your obedient servant,

S. W. STRYKER,

Colonel Forty-fourth Regiment N. Y. State Volunteers.

Captain THOMAS J. HOYT, Assistant Adjutant-General.

No. 30. Report of Lieutenant Colonel James C. Rice,

Forty-fourth New York infantry, of engagement May 27.

HDQRS. FORTY-FOURTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, Bivouac near Hanover

Court-House, Va., May 28, 1862.

SIR: I beg leave to report to the commanding officer of the regiment

---------------

*Embodied in return,p.685.

---------------