War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0862 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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in position till the early part of the afternoon, when we were ordered to rejoin the regiment.

Truly, your obedient servant,

WM. L. PITCHER,

Captain, Acting Major, Fourth Maine.

Colonel E. WALKER.

Numbers 63. Report of Major William H. Baird,

Thirty-eighth New York Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTY-EIGHTH Regiment NEW YORK VOLS., Near Fair Oaks, June 3, 1862.

SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of the 1st instant, in obedience to the orders of Colonel J. H. Hobart Ward, commanding brigade, the Thirty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers was formed in line of battle at daybreak, my right resting near the railroad and connecting on the left with the right of the Third Regiment Maine Volunteers, under the command of Colonel Staples. I was assisted in my duties by Capts. O. A. Tilden and John M. Cooney, respectively acting lieutenant-colonel and major, who rendered me efficient service in such capacities. We remained under arms until 8 o'clock a. m. In the mean time I had detached, by order of Colonel Ward, two companies, E and K, and placed them under command of Captain O. A. Tilden, to deploy and act as skirmishers, which they did, receiving an attack in front from a large force of the enemy. They skirmished back in good order, keeping the enemy in check until within less than 100 yards of our front. I then repeated Colonel Ward's order to "Fire, charge, and give them the bayonet," which order was in turn delivered by all my officers along the line.

It gives me great pleasure to inform you that owing to the attention of my officers not a shot was fired until the command was given. After delivering our fire we charged through the woods, driving the enemy before us at every point, and at last routed him completely. We captured 12 prisoners (unwounded), and killed and wounded the enemy in great numbers. Fearing I should receive the fire of the Fourth Maine Regiment, which was stationed on the railroad at right angles with our own front, pouring a murderous fire on the enemy's left flank, I ordered a halt. I then, by order of Colonel Ward, made a detail to take my wounded to the rear, and fell back to assume the same position occupied before the action.

It is my duty to speak in the most unqualified terms of Surg. A. J. Berry and his assistant, B. Gesner, they having labored incessantly since the action began. I cannot speak too highly of their services. I would also do justice to the officers of my command, but where so much bravery was exhibited, and one vied with the other in gentlemanly and officer-like bearing, it is impossible to make any distinction. I desire to speak in the highest terms of the enlisted men. They did their duty only as good soldiers can do it. My greatest pride is in commanding such a noble body of men. I need only refer to the fact (as an evidence of their conduct) that they drove a largely-superior force nearly a mile at the point of the bayonet.

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

WM. H. BAIRD,

Major, Commanding Thirty-eighth New York Volunteers.

Captain G. W. MINDIL, A. A. G., Second Brigade.