War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0903 Chapter XXIII. BATTLE OF FAIR OAKS, OR SEVEN PINES.

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untiring attentions to the sick and wounded so ably rendered by Surg. A. Owen Stille and Assist. Surg. William C. Roller, faithfully assisted by our worthy and esteemed chaplain, J. G. Shinn.

The officers and men of the Twenty-third stood nobly to their colors under the severe fire to which they were exposed, proving themselves worthy of the trust of defending the honor and laws of our country.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,

THOS. H. NEILL,

Colonel, Commanding Twenty-third Pennsylvania Vols.

Captain GUSTAVUS URBAN,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Abercrombie's Brigade.

No. 85. Report of Colonel David H. Williams,

Thirty-first Pennsylvania Infantry.

HDQRS. THIRTY-FIRST PENNSYLVANIA VOLUNTEERS,

Field of Battle, near Fair Oaks Station, Va., June 2, 1862.

CAPTAIN: I beg leave respectfully to submit the following report of the participation of this regiment in the engagement of the 31st May and 1st of June:

We were formed in line of battle near our camp before 1 p. m. of the 31st May, when we were ordered to move up the road on our left near where the division of General Casey and the Twenty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, of this brigade, were engaged. We took position near who gallantly rejoined their companies and participated in all the subsequent events of the day. We afterward deployed upon the left of the First U. S. Chaseurs, our left extending across the railroad nearly in front of our camp at the station. Here again we had 1 man (a private from Company B) severely wounded.

From this position to the one finally taken, where the severe engagement ensued in which we participated, no incident occurred worthy of note in this report. We were posted in a well-chosen position behind a low rail fence, an open field in our rear and a wood in front, when the enemy appeared so suddenly and with such impetuosity that our skirmishers could scarcely regain their position in the battalion. The enemy first opened fire, but was met with such impetuosity volley that his next attempt was made with more caution and deliberation, but no better success. His ranks were renewed with flesh troops, which repeatedly charged to within 20 yards of our lines, but no valor or impetuosity could withstand the steady and well-directed fire of our men. As the enemy withdrew to form his shattered lines our fire was slackened, to be renewed with undiminished severity as he approached. The conflict was sustained for nearly two hours, when the enemy withdrew on the approach of night completely broken. It seemed that if daylight had continued but a short time the enemy could have been successfully pursued and his forces captured. Our men slept upon their arms in the ranks where the battle had been fought. At daybreak we joined the Fifteenth Massachusetts and took our new position, which we now hold.

The officers and men seemed to emulate each other in steadiness and gallantry. Captain Williams, with his company (A), performed the duty