Under the circumstances I think it my duty to add a few remarks with regard to my division. On leaving Washington eight of the regiments were composed of raw troops. It has been the misfortune of the division in marching through the Peninsula to be subjected to an ordeal which would have severely tried veteran troops. Furnished with scanty transportation, occupying sickly positions, exposed to the inclemency of the weather at times without tents or blankets, and illy supplied with rations and medical stores, the loss from sickness has been great, especially with the officers; yet a party from my division took possession of the railroad bridge across the Chickahominy, driving the enemy from it, and my division took the advance on the 23rd of May, and by an energetic reconnaissance drove the enemy beyond the Seven Pines.
Notwithstanding all these drawbacks, and the fact that there were not 5,000 men in line of battle, they withstood for three hours the attack of an overwhelming force of the enemy without the re-enforcement of a single man at my first line. The Fifty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers reached my second line just before it was evacuated.
If a portion of the division did not behave so well as could have been wished, it must be remembered to what a terrible ordeal they were subjected. Still, those that behaved discreditable were exceptional cases. It is true that the division, after being nearly surrounded by the enemy and losing one-third of the number actually engaged, retreated to the second line. They would all have been prisoners of war had they delayed their retreat a few minutes longer.
In my humble opinion, from what I witnessed on the 31st, I am convinced that the stubborn and desperate resistance of my division saved the army on the right bank of the Chickahominy from a severe repulse, which might have resulted in a disastrous defeat. The blood of the gallant dead would cry to me from the ground on which they fell fighting for their country had I not said what I have to vindicate them from the unmerited aspersion which has been cast upon them.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General Volunteers, Commanding Division.
Captain C. C. SUYDAM,
Recapitulation of casualties in Casey's division, May 31, 1862.
Command. Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total.
General Naglee --- 1 --- 1
104th Pennsylvania --- 6 1 7
52nd Pennsylvania --- 7 --- 7
56th New York 1 4 --- 5
100th New York 2 3 6 11
11th Maine 1 3 --- 4
Total 4 24 7 35
Command. Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total Aggre
General Naglee --- --- --- --- 1
104th 27 105 66 198 205
52nd Pennsylvania 20 87 5 112 119
56th New York 15 43 5 63 68
100th New York 16 83 66 165 176
11th Maine 5 41 18 64 68
Total 83 359 160 602 637