War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0871 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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posting pickets, until I heard heavy firing in our front, when I immediately joined my regiment, which I found posted in the intrenchments at our new camp. I soon after received an order to proceed with my regiment to join the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments, which had moved to the front and entered the timber. I had no information to guide me as to their position, and was unable to ascertain their precise locality. The regiment followed the Richmond road to a point near a farm-house, located in a clearing, under a heavy artillery fire. It then proceeded to the left until I found the Third and Fifth Michigan Regiments were in my front.

While I was endeavoring to find a position to co-operate with these regiments under a heavy fire (which I was unable to return, owing to the position of our troops in front) heavy musketry fire was opened upon my right flank, the enemy evidently designing to operate against our right flank and attack the brigade in rear. I immediately faced my regiment to the right and filed to the right, so as to change my front, for the purpose of checking the movement of the enemy on our right and rear. I was in advance of the leading company, conducting the movement, but before it was completed I observed that my left wing was moving to the front, the cause of which I did not at the time understand, but soon ascertained that this movement had been ordered by General Kearny, and that he was leading it in person to the front. I then faced my right wing to the left and followed the movement. The enemy was checked, and he recrossed the road, where he was strongly re-enforced, when he opened a terrible fire, but the regiment engaged in the unequal strife with spirit. The enemy was still moving a strong force to the right and rear obliquely to the right. The regiment retained, however, its position until General Kearny ordered it to file to the rear and incline to the right. I executed this movement, taking its wounded with it, except some few who could not be found, but who have since been nearly all recovered. The enemy did not follow, which shows that his design was abandoned, and which saved the advanced position of the brigade from being threatened in rear.

The officers performed their duty well, as will be proved by the list of casualties, which will be furnished as soon as the two companies now on picket are relieved. Two companies of the Second Michigan Regiment, under Major Dillman, followed the movements of my regiment and acted in the most soldier-like manner-worthy of the splendid regiment to which they belong. I am indebted to Major P. H. Jones for advice as regarded the movement of the enemy, and commend him for his general good conduct. The adjutant of my regiment, Lieutenant James Henry, was particularly distinguished for his daring zeal and courage, and I commend him as worthy of special notice. Lieutenant W. C. Green, who was seriously wounded, and who, before the engagement, was unfit for duty, I also deem worthy of special notice. I also recommend as worthy of commendation Captain James R. O'Beirne and Lieutenant P. J. Smith for zeal, judgment, and courage. Each company of my right wing had an officer disabled, and two of these companies were left entirely without officers, yet the enlisted men acted worthy of their native courage.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Thirty-seventh New York Vols., Commanding.

Lieutenant E. H. SHOOK,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Berry's Brigade.