ments of the enemy, was compelled to fall back to the woods across the main road.
Having remained near the main road with my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Stirling, until the troops had passed out of view, I pushed on in the direction of the road leading to the saw-mill. Coming up with numerous detachments of various regiments and a portion of the One hundred and Second Pennsylvania Volunteers, with the assistance of Lieutenants Titus and Stirling, of my staff, I rallied these men and was conducting them back toward the Richmond road, when I met General Kearny, who advised me to withdraw these troops by way of the saw-mill to the intrenched camp at this place.
I stated I did not feel at liberty to do so unless by his order, which he gave. I arrived at this camp about 6.30 p. m., in company with General Kearny. Finding nearly all the forces here I took position in the rifle pit with General Berry's brigade. During the night my troops were supplied with a proper allowance of ammunition, provision were brought from the Chickahominy, the lines were strongly picketed, and every preparation made to meet the enemy.
At daylight on the 1st of June I was placed in command of the intrenchments. The force at hand was not far from 10,000 men, with a large supply of artillery. Small detachments and stragglers were collected and sent to their respective regiments. All available means were employed to promote the comfort and efficiency of the troops. Heavy working parties, relieved at intervals of two hours, were employed until the morning of the 2nd extending and strengthening the whole line of works. A six-gun battery was thrown up on the extreme left of the line, covering the approaches from the Charles City road. Before morning the guns were in position. Another important work was constructed on the front, sweeping the depression running obliquely toward the timber nearest the system of works. A large force was busily engaged in slashing the timber in front and on the extreme left. Lieutenant Titus was sent with a party to obstruct all roads and fords across White Oak Swamp. I directed two squadrons of cavalry to reconnoiter carefully at intervals of two hours. Several regiments took part in a thorough reconnaissance made by General Palmer. For these results I was mainly indebted to the cordial co-operation of Generals Wessells, Naglee, Palmer, Berry, and Devens, and Colonels Neill, Innes, Hayman, and Major West, chief of artillery.
It gives me great pleasure to say that Major-General McClellan and Generals Heintzelman and Keyes rode twice along the entire lines in the afternoon of this day, to the great gratification of the troops, who received them with unbounded enthusiasm.
It is a matter of much regret that the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers was not present at the battle, being detached on special duty with General Stoneman. It was unfortunate that the exigencies of the occasion the breaking up of my brigade organization, and, in consequence, I was only able to go into the last charge on the right with about 1,000 men. This small body, in conjunction with the brave troops, hotly engaged, staggered the elite of the enemy, and checked his powerful efforts for gaining the main road. My effective force was reduced by detachments to 2,000 men, of whom 41 were killed, 242 wounded, and 61 missing, making a total of 344,* or about one-sixth of the command engaged.
Colonel J. Lafayette Riker, Sixty-second New York Volunteers, fell while
*But see revised statement, p. 761.