which would have ensued had the enemy pursued their success on the 31st.
Annexed hereto are the reports of regimental commanders, with consolidated table of casualties.*
I am, your obedient servant,
D. B. BIRNEY,
Captain W. E. STURGES,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Kearny's Division.
Numbers 59. Reports of Colonel J. H. Hobart Ward,
Thirty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS BIRNEY'S BRIGADE, Camp
, June 1, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the following movements of the brigade during the past twenty-four hours:
At 3 p. m. on the 30th ultimo, under orders from General Kearny, line was formed, the left resting on a redoubt on the right of the Williamsburg road, extending across and through the woods, with the right resting at a point beyond the railroad.
At 4 p. m. orders were received from General Heintzelman, through Lieutenant Hunt, aide-de-camp, to move up the railroad and support General Couch. At this time the Fifty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, having been detached from their brigade, were assigned by Lieutenant Sturges, General Kearny's assistant adjutant-general, to this brigade. In accordance with instructions received, the brigade advanced up the railroad and formed line in the open fields beyond the first wood, two regiments on the right of the road and three on the left, the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania connecting with the First Long Island Volunteers, Couch's division. At this point some shots were received. Again received orders from General Heintzelman, per Lieutenant Bliss, acting commissary of subsistence, to push up the railroad. This movement was executed with caution. Some shots were also received here, and the brigade was finally formed in the next open field beyond, the Third Maine and Thirty-eighth New York on the railroad by the flank, supported by the Fortieth New York and Fourth Maine on the right and left of the road as skirmishers.
Whilst thus advancing orders were received from General Kearny, per Captain Hassler, aide-de-camp, to fall back on the rifle pits in rear. Lieutenant Linnard was dispatched to see if the order was correct, and returned with a similar answer from General Kearny. The brigade did fall back, when orders were again given to advance by General Kearny in person. While advancing received information from General Couch through Captain Brady that he was being cut off by the enemy, but that if Birney held his position he could escape by a new road he had discovered. The brigade was formed in first field, regiments deployed to the right and left of the road in front as skirmishers, the pickets connecting with General French on the right and General Couch on the left. The Seventh Massachusetts, Colonel Russell, reported for duty
*Embodied in return, p. 760.