a.m. I received orders to move my command to a new line to the left, and while making arrangements to get my pickets relieved an order came to hurry at double-quick. My men laid aside their knapsacks, placing a guard over them, and moved as ordered. We took up a position to the rear and reserve to the two brigades. At 4 p.m. I received orders to place my brigade on the right of the central road, in the skirt of the woods, directly in the front of division headquarters.
At 5 a.m. the action in front of Robinson's brigade and Thompson's battery opened severely. It was evident that the troops on the left of the road [McCall's division] were giving way. At this time I placed the First New York, Colonel Dyckman, in support of Thompson's battery. General Robinson called on me for a regiment to sustain his line, and I sent him the Second Michigan, Major Dillman. Captain Sturges, acting assistant adjutant-general, took the Third Michigan Volunteers, Major Pierce, to support General Birney. Thompson's battery was severely assailed, and by the use that gallant officer made of canister, and the support rendered by General Robinson's brigade, together with that rendered by the First New York and afterward by the Thirty-seventh New York and Fifth Michigan [Major Fairbanks], of my own, prevented them from advancing their lines toward us. This regiment operated in front of General McCall's line and the road. The enemy were pressing in that direction very hard, and I thought it my duty to check them to save our left flank.
At 7.30 a.m. it was evident that the enemy was preparing a column to make a strong effort to pierce our lines. I made known the fact to General Burns, who was forming a second line to McCall's. That officer gave me the Twenty-fourth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel-. I marched up to the road and placed the Fifth Michigan, of less than 200 men, and they, the remaining one, on its right; filed by the right across our front and in rear of Thompson's battery, and ordered to charge the enemy, who had appeared in a strong column. Lieutenant Greenhalgh, one of my aides, gallantly led the regiment, drove back the enemy, and captured a stand of colors belonging to the - Regiment, of-. Other re-enforcements arrived, and we held our line without falling back an inch.
At 12 m. I received orders to draw off my men immediately and to follow General Robinson's brigade. I did so without loss of any pickets, leaving my dead and wounded on the ground.
My loss in this engagement was considerable, including Major Fairbanks, badly wounded.
We followed the retreating army to Malvern Hill, and after having collected stragglers took position under orders from your headquarters on the right of the advanced general line, supporting the Second Brigade.
At 10 a.m.the enemy commenced shelling us from the plateau opposite with considerable effect. My men, however, kept their position all day without flinching, although some 50 men were hit; among others Captain Pulford, of the Fifth Michigan Volunteers.
At 1 a.m. of the 2nd we were ordered to fall back and follow the Second Brigade. We did so in order, arriving at this locality at 10 a.m. of the 2nd instant.
I have to mention that my brigade behaved admirably at the battle of Charles City. The position was strongly contested. Night closed in upon us in possession of our own ground. The First New York Volunteers, Colonel Dyckman, behaved handsomely. This regiment received a charge of a rebel regiment, and charged in turn and broke the