War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0858 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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on the right of the road above the bridge. On the morning of the 1st instant we were ordered into the field on the left of the railroad by Colonel Ward, then commanding the brigade. We formed a line of battle under the edge of the woods, our right toward the railroad. The presence of the enemy in force in our front was revealed by their terrific fire opened on our skirmishers under command of Major Burt, acting lieutenant-colonel, who checked them until our main body came up. By your order we charged over the fence, and I am pleased to say that the command was gallantly executed; the regiment, cheering continually, rushed on the enemy with such impetuosity that they broke and fled at the first onset. We pursued them for a mile through woods and swamps, they endeavoring in vain to check us during their retreat by a rapid fire. When we crossed the run we met their reserve in large numbers on the top of an eminence, our brave boys still advancing threw themselves upon the ground half way up the hill and fired upon them steadily, the rebels returning our fire with terrible effect at this point, and most of our casualties took place here. After silencing their fire, by your order we retired and formed a line with the rest of the brigade, and after resting a while we again advanced, other regiments having meanwhile come to our relief. The left and left-center companies were subjected to the hottest fire, came most in conflict with the enemy, and suffered most. A list of casualties you will find inclosed.*

I am pleased to say that the whole regiment did their duty nobly and bravely, and where all behaved so gallantly no opportunity is left for individual praise. Too much praise cannot be accorded to both officers and men for their coolness and bravery.

I have the honor, sir, to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

HENRY G. STAPLES,

Colonel, Commanding Third Maine Volunteers.

Colonel WARD,

Commanding Birney's Brigade.

Numbers 61. Reports of Colonel Elijah Walker,

Fourth Maine Infantry.

HEADQUARTERS FOURTH MAINE REGIMENT, Camp Staples, Va., Sunday, June 1, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report the following as the circumstances of the capture of Colonel John Bratton, Sixth South Carolina Regiment:

While my regiment was advancing in line of battle in the belt of woods in front of the clearing occupied by Miss Susan Allen as her residence, I ordered that the men (one from each company) should proceed some distance to the front to act as scouts. From the statements of these scouts-particularly of Fred. H. Rogers, of Company K-I gather the following facts: The scouts, advancing as ordered, came upon the edge of a swamp, which they could not cross at that point, and so moved to the left to find a passage over. While in this position Rogers saw a cavalryman hurrying by, who told him he had just discovered a squad of rebels near by and was going to his own regiment for help to capture them. Rogers then went in the direction indicated just to take

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*Embodied in return, p. 760.

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