of this brigade] the brigade then on duty there. Owing to the sickness and absence of many of the officers of the regiment I had with me but one captain [Frederick Cooper, of Company F] and three lieutenants [Hillyer and Mullery, of Company K], and Coursen, of Company I], the latter being acting adjutant. About midnight I received an order to send the teams to Orchard Station for provisions and ammunition and to destroy all property that we could not carry. At that late hour it was impossible to find our teams [which had some days previous been ordered to the rear] among the mass of wagons in camp [the only ones I was able to obtain] to load with provisions and ammunition, and directed the officers to destroy their personal baggage and tents, which was done in the most thorough and complete manner. Having seen that the men of the command were supplied with three days' rations I destroyed all the rest of the provisions that one wagon could not carry, having reserved the other for ammunition.
At about 7 o'clock in the morning of the 29th we took up the line of march to the rear, and occupied the rifle pits of the second line of defense, where we remained till 3.30 o'clock. We then moved along the road toward White Oak Swamp, which we passed before sundown, and bivouacked a short distance beyond. In the morning we again moved forward toward the James River, and halted about 2 miles from our bivouac, near the New Market road. Here the regiment was formed in line of battle on the edge of a wood commanding an open field, through which the enemy were expected to advance. Here we remained under arms till daylight the next morning, the enemy not having been able to force their way through the front line. The men behaved with great coolness, though grape, canister, shell, and bullets flew thick around us, wounding 2 of my men. At daylight we resumed our march, and reached Malvern Hill shortly after sunrise.
The enemy having advanced to attack us at this point, I was ordered to take the regiment to support the Fifth New Jersey Volunteers, and while posted in their rear Orderly-Sergeant Dougherty, of Company A, was wounded in the hand by one of the enemy's shells. Shortly after, by order of Colonel Carr, I detailed two companies [C and H] to extend the line of the Sixth New Jersey, and took the remainder of the regiment to the front to support the First Brigade. Here we were in plain sight of the rebel battery on a hill about a half mile in front of us, and were treated to a shower of shell and solid shot, but by keeping my men down close to the ground we rendered their fire harmless.
At daylight we resumed our march in rear of the First Brigade [our own, the Third, having moved off without us] and reached the James River about 9 o'clock, where shortly afterward Major Price, who had been absent on leave, rejoined the regiment and relieved me of command.
On a roll call made by my order after we got into camp I ascertained that out of the whole number I started with from the rifle pits in front of Richmond but 8 men were absent, including the 3 before mentioned as wounded. These have all since made their appearance, and I am happy to report that I have lost no men during this retreat.
My thanks are due to Captain Frederick Cooper for the able manner in which he seconded my efforts and for his constant vigilance and attention, as also to Lieutenant Coursen, acting adjutant, who spared no effort to make himself useful and whose aid in carrying out my orders was invaluable. I have also to thank Lieutenants Hillyer and Mullery, of Company K, for the steady and faithful manner in which