I beg leave also to express my thanks for the service rendered during part of the engagement by the aides of the major-general commanding, Lieutenant-Colonel Radowitz, Major Hammerstein, and Capts. Louis Philippe and Robert d'Orleans, whose courage and energy were conspicuous among many brave men on that day's field. I also in this connection express my admiration of the conduct of Captain Hoyt, aide to General Butterfield, who, like all the above aides (mine included), inspired our men with confidence when rallying them in their retreat and under the fire of the enemy.
I cannot further mention individual acts. I give merely those in elevated position whose conduct came under my own observation and as an acknowledgment of the services of each command. Many other cases of merit must be left for a more detailed report.
In the operations above detailed it is to be regretted that our losses were necessarily severe, but our objects were gained in the unmolested concentration of our army with all its siege guns and material. Among the officers lost to us I regret being obliged to number Brigadier-General Reynolds, Major Clitz, Captain Whiting, and Lieutenant S. M. Weld, my aide, and Captain Chambliss, who were taken prisoners near the close of the contest. The country will mourn the loss of Colonels Gove, of the Twenty-second Massachusetts; McLane, of the Eighty-third, and Black, of the Sixty-second Pennsylvania, killed in action-genial men and gallant officers, who had distinguished themselves on previous occasions; Major N. B. Rossell, Third Infantry, and some others who have not yet been officially reported to me.
Detailed reports of commanders will be forwarded as they are received.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
F. J. PORTER.
P. S.-Since writing the above I have learned that the call for troops and axes, intrusted to General Barnard early in the day, was never delivered to the commanding general. Axes were again called for, but delivered at too late an hour to be helved and used. Two hundred men of the Eleventh Pennsylvania, detailed to helve them, were all of that regiment saved from capture or destruction. The barricades prepared by borrowing the axes of the artillery insured desperate and prolonged resistance, and had the call for axes first asked for and the troops been delivered and filled, the fate of the day and the result of the campaign upon the prolonged contest between the two sections of our country may have been most materially changed.
F. J. PORTER,
Brigadier General S. WILLIAMS,
HEADQUARTERS FIFTH PROVISIONAL CORPS, Camp at Harrison's Landing, Va., July 8, 1862.
GENERAL: On the 29th of June, the major-general commanding having decided to move on the following day the whole of the material of the army to a position on the James River near Turkey Island, I was directed, with Morell's and Sykes' divisions and a portion of the reserve artillery, to proceed to the vicinity of Turkey Bridge, and there select and hold a position behind which the army could be withdrawn in