Kearny's personal instructions, connected with the line of pickets, with the Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania on the left and the First New York on the right, extending them in front to the position held the evening before, the pickets and scouts of the enemy retiring before us, their firing being constant but harmless. The skirmishing company of the Fortieth New York did good execution with the Enfield rifle, as the bodies found testified. At 3 o'clock p.m. I was, by order of General Kearny, relieved from the front, and ordered to relieve the pickets of the First New York with the Fortieth New York. This was at once executed.
I take pleasure in speaking of the high state of discipline evinced by the Fourth Maine and Fortieth New York. They were steady and united. The One hundred and first New York broke when marching to post under the first volley at about 10 o'clock p.m., but soon rallied and marched steadily to the front, and did good service. The Third Maine were somewhat disordered by the same volley, and although most of this hitherto reliable regiment remained at post, I regret to report that some retired to camp some mile in rear. The commanding officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Sampson, left his command and post and was next morning in camp. I could not find him during the night. He left without my permission or knowledge. I have felt it my duty to place him under arrest.
I annex as part of my report a map of localities picketed and held by my command* and also a list of casualties.+
I am, sir, your obedient servant,
D. B. BIRNEY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Kearny's Division.
HEADQUARTERS BIRNEY'S BRIGADE, Camp Kearny, July 5, 1862.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the conduct of my command during the movement from the Williamsburg road near Seven Pines to this point:
On the 29th ultimo under orders I withdrew my brigade from the intrenched front of Kearny's division to the second intrenched line. I remained in position here for several hours, and then fell back to Savage Station, where I again formed line. Thence I took the woods road to the Charles City road, which I was ordered to hold. I crossed the swamp, or rather the two branches of it, at Jordon's Ford and proceeded toward Charles City road. My advanced skirmishers were fired into by the enemy, and we had soon unmistakable evidence of a much superior force being opposed to us and their possession of artillery. My skirmishers from the Third Maine Regiment, under-, gallantly kept the enemy in check.
General Kearny, arriving and reconnoitering the ground, ordered me to withdrawn and march to the lower ford. This I did after a sharp skirmish and the arrival of the enemy's artillery. Barricading the ford and leaving a guard to defend it, from the Fourth Maine Regiment, I sent my brigade to the ford, crossed in safety, and reached