Numbers 53. Report of Colonel Charles T. Campbell,
Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Infantry.
ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL, PHILADELPHIA,
June 5, 1862
SIR: I respectfully report after receiving your orders on the afternoon of May 31 I marched my regiment up the railroad a short distance in rear of the other regiments of your brigade. On arriving at the point where you left the railroad I was ordered by General Heintzelman to proceed up the road. I marched up the railroad under General Birney's command, and on reaching the open ground opposite the enemy's lines my regiment was deployed to the right as a support to one of Birney's regiments, who were deployed along the woods to the right of railroad. I was then ordered by General Birney to cross the railroad,and move to the left and join a Rhode Island regiment which I would find in the woods on the left. I did not find any force of our troops I could identify as a regiment, but plenty of stragglers, who came in reporting the enemy in force right in my front. Wherever the enemy appeared or were found they were met with determined resistance.
Marching in this position on the left flank of the enemy we engaged them briskly where they came to a stand at the road. Here Major Culp was killed and many of my men wounded. I called to a regiment posted 200 or 300 yards in my rear toward the railroad to come immediately and engage the enemy-that they were gathering in force in my front. This regiment did not heed my call, but marched off in a different direction. The fire across and up the road upon my left flank was now so very severe and the woods so dense in front between me and the main position of the enemy that I though it advisable to throw my regiment across the road in double-quick in detachments, and secure a piece of cover of fallen timber on the enemy's right and my left of the road.
At this time I saw General Heintzelman approach. He told me to push forward into the woods-that I would be supported on the right and left. I advanced carefully, exchanging shots with the enemy at every step. When within 75 or 100 yards of the enemy's line I came to a halt, and delivered a fire into their ranks with my whole force. The firing was then kept up briskly by both sides, neither party retreating for ten or fifteen minutes, when I was wounded and carried out of the woods to an open field in the rear. I then gave orders to my officers if they could not hold their position to fall back gradually through the woods, which order I believe was obeyed. I was left upon the field, the command devolving upon Lieutenant-Colonel Woods, who will make a further report.
In conclusion it is but just for me to say that the conduct of Lieutenant-Colonel Woods merits the highest commendation. The lamented Major Culp fell while bravely cheering on his men in front of the regiment. All of the officers present behaved with the utmost coolness and gallantry.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. T. CAMPBELL,
Colonel Fifty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers.
General C. D. JAMESON.
Commanding First Brigade, Kearny's Division.