While the enemy was in possession of the open ground in front of the rifle pits and to our rear the firing was very destructive upon us. We were subjected to a fire from both front and rear, and being close upon the enemy's battery, a number of shells directed against it by our artillery fell short in our midst and doing us considerable damage.
I cannot speak in too high terms of the conduct of the regiment. Not a man flinched. Captain Dowling, of Company B, was killed while leading his men forward. He was an excellent officer and worthy gentleman. It will be difficult to supply his place. Lieutenant Craig, killed at the same time, was a young officer of great promise. At the siege of Yorktown he was assigned to duty in the engineer department, and the satisfactory manner in which he filled the position was shown by his being retained on that duty until the conclusion of the siege.
Lieutenant Cummiskey, of Company d, had his head blown off by a cannon ball while gallantly leading his men forward to repulse a charge of the enemy. As an officer he was unsurpassed. He had every qualification of a gentleman, and was brave and chivalrous to a fault. Captains Kirk, Thompson, Duff, and Greenawalt, with Lieutenants Geggie, Baird, McLaughlin, Markle, and Shipley, were wounded in the midst of the combat and whilst urging their men on.
The remaining commissioned officers, Lieutenants Consor, Neil, Clyde, Lawson, and Barr, were continually in the front of the fight, never flagging in their efforts, and exhibiting a courage which excited the emulation of their men. Sergeant-Major Woodward behaved with great courage, and made himself conspicuous by gallantry on several occasions.
During the engagement Lieutenant-Colonel Corbet, Major Dick, and Adjutant Gray were very active, and contributed essentially by their exertions to the steadiness of the command.
Company G was specially detailed to guard the railroad bridge over the Chickahominy River. Companies C and I were on detailed duty, and did not get up in time to go into the fight with the regiment, but were placed under command of Colonel Campbell, Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. I presume his report will do full justice to their conduct.
A. A. McKNIGHT,
Colonel, Commanding One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Vols.
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Kearny's Division.
Numbers 58. Report of Brigadier General David B. Birney,
U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade.
HDQRS. BIRNEY'S BRIGADE, THIRD DIV., THIRD CORPS, Harrison's Landing, July 8, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor to report for the information of the general commanding the division the part taken by this brigade in the battle of Seven Pines, on the 31st of May, 1862. My brigade was composed of the Thirty-eighth and Fortieth New York Regiments and the Third and Fourth Maine Regiments.