to the edge of the long field in front of the swamp above mentioned
about one-third of the field to the front. Across the extreme front of this field was a rebel regiment drawn up in line of battle, their colors being distinctly visible. Both regiments continued in this position until "retreat", when by order of General Sickles the Second Excelsior was withdrawn within the lines and rested on their arms during the night.
The conduct of all the officers under my command was most satisfactory. So much am I indebted to them all that I cannot particularize, and whatever credit may be due to the regiment or the details from it for its labors when under my command should be equally extended to all of the officers.
Very respectfully submitted.
H. L. POTTER,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Second Regiment, Excelsior Brigade
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General
Numbers 44. Report of Colonel Nelson Taylor,
Seventy-second New York Infantry, of operations May 31-June 4.
HDQRS. THIRD REGIMENT, EXCELSIOR BRIGADE.
Camp near Fair Oaks Station, June 5, 1862
LIEUTENANT: In accordance with orders this regiment, broke camp near Bottom's Bridge about 3.30 p.m. Saturday, May 31., leaving behind the camp and garrison equipage and the knapsacks of the men. The regiment proceeded in light marching order toward the camps of Couch's and Casey's divisions,on the road leading toward Richmond, for the purpose of supporting those divisions, who were said to be engaged by the enemy. About 8 o'clock p.m. I arrived at a cross-road said to be 8 miles from Richmond, and receiving orders bivouacked, lying upon our arms.
On Sunday morning, June 1, the line was formed at 7 a.m. I was ordered to march, taking the road toward Richmond. After proceeding about 100 rods I received an order from General Heintzelman to form line and advance to a piece of wood to the left of the road and hold that position, which was accordingly done. I deployed tow companies to the front to act as skirmishers, and remained in this position until 7 o'clock a.m. on Monday morning. About 12 m. of Sunday the enemy opened upon us from a field battery, throwing shell and shot into the woods to the front; also in rear into the field, evidently trying to ascertain or drive us from our position. This firing was kept up at short intervals for about an hour, when it ceased entirely.
About 10 p.m. Sunday night the long roll was beat to our rear, and at the same time a noise was heard as if a body of troops were moving past our front toward our left. The line was preserved during the night, the men lying upon their arms, and with this exception nothing occurred during the night.
About daylight Monday, June 2, I received orders to hold by my command in readiness to march. About 7 a.m. I received orders to follow immediately in rear of a battery of Major Wainwright's artillery. In