Thirty-fourth New York to the front, and sent the Eighty-second New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Hudson commanding, to engage the enemy and, if possible, to fall upon his flank, while General Meagher's Irish brigade and others engaged his center.
No sooner had they come within 120 yards of the enemy than they became engaged in a most deadly conflict,while the whole line along the railroad for nearly a mile seemed to have become one continuous blaze of musketry-the fighting being frequently at no greater distance than 50 yards, between heavy lines of infantry. This regiment of mine suffered considerably, though protected somewhat by its position in the woods. I sent the Thirty-fourth New York to support them,some 50 yards in the rear.
Never before have I seen more distinguished courage displayed, nor more determination to conquer or fall on the field, than was shown by all our troops without distinction. The Eighty-second New York, on this day as on the day previous, withstood the shock of the enemy's repeated charges, sustained by the Thirty-fourth New York, and finally, in conjunction with the Irish brigade and others of Richardson's division,had the satisfaction of seeing the enemy abandon the field and precipitately retire upon Richmond, leaving their dead and wounded upon the ground. And here the battle ended, leaving us in possession of the field and with a large number of wounded and other prisoners in our hands. Had the battles of those two days to be fought over again I cannot see where any improvement could be made either in the courage, firmness,and steadiness of the troops or their determination or the dispositions made on the field.
Just at the close of the action of the 1st instant Captain Russell's company of Minnesota Sharpshooters arrived on the field and I put them inn before the enemy, where they used their weapons with effect and rendered good service. Their loss is 1 wounded. My loss amounts in killed and wounded to 201 as near as I can now report; missing, none.* I trust I may be allowed to bear testimony to the efficiency, skill, and cool courage of Lieutenants Kirby, Woodruff, and French, and the men of the artillery, whose battery my brigade supported throughout the entire action. The commanders of the regiments of my brigade desire me to congratulate the commander of the corps and of the division upon this successful achievement, and officers and men feel the highest pride that they are soldiers of the Army of the Potomac.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
W. A. GORMAN,
Captain WILLIAM D. SEDGWICK
Numbers 28. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John W. Kimball,
Fifteenth Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. FIFTEENTH Regiment MASSACHUSETTS VOLS.,
In Camp at Fair Oaks, Va., June 3, 1862
I have the honor to report that on Saturday, the 31st ultimo, I
*But see revised statement, p. 758.
51 R R-VOL XI