defended our, front were soon compelled to retreat with the rest, falling back to our breastworks. The First Michigan did the same. Before many of the troops had fallen back to our breastworks I shouted to our men to rise and fire by fire. Some fired one, some six rounds, but they were much embarrassed by the difficulty of distinguishing friend from foe, so closely were the former pursued by the latter.
At this juncture I was shot through the right shoulder, went to the rear, and was ordered to the house was surrounded by Confederates; so our whole line must have given way. Soon after I left the field the house was penetrated many times by shells from our own batteries. After this I can say nothing, as I saw no more of the action, unless it may be to recite the reports of some of my captains. As well as I can judge Colonel Gove gave the order to retreat, when our regiments in front threw themselves back on the Twenty-second, as at that moment we were outflanked on either side and subject to a cross fire.
On coming out of the woods about 200 yards it would appear that the colonel strove to rally the regiment, but was shot down in the act half way between his men and the enemy. I am told that Captain Thompson, of Woburn, rallied a few men around the colors and made a stand. Afterward, when near the bridge, Captain Wardwell, Captain Burt, Lieutenant Field, and others rallied all of our own men that they could find, together with many others retreating in disorder, forming them into a battalion. This body consisted of upward of 1,000 men. Lieutenant-Colonel Griswold, being now in camp, can question these officers, and give you a more through account of the last of the battle than I can. On Captain Burt"s testimony I should place great reliance, as he is a gentleman and a modest soldier.
I was told by several prisoners in Richmond that Captain Sampson, of Company A, was the first man to run away. On the other hand, it is said Lieutenant Conor, of the same company, did bravely. I am also told that Lieutenant Symonds, of Company D, was eminently cool, sedulous, and vigorous in the discharge of his duty. Sergeant Carr, of Company E, not being too sick to take the field, as were both of his superior officers, fell while bravely fighting in commanding his company. Captain J. J. Thompson, of Company H, proved himself to be a brave and reliable soldier. His first lieutenant T. T. Salter, one of my most valuable officers, I learn with much grief is among the missing. These are the only officers in the regiment worthy of particular mention excepting Lieutenant Stiles, of the Sharpshooters, who did his duty, all of it, manfully. Captain Whorf, Lieutenant Washburn, and Lieutenant Stearns were wounded before they had much opportunity to distinguish themselves. I had nearly forgotten our chivalric adjutant, who was severely wounded in the shoulder. We can illy spare his services, as he is one of the most intelligent gentlemen in the regiment and altogether the hardest working man. Assistant Surgeon Prince is a superior man. Neither shot nor shell can deter him from his duty, which he has always performed under whatever circumstances with untiring zeal. In Richmond his good qualities were pre-eminent.
I have the honor to be,
WM. S. TILTON,
Major, Twenty-second Mass., in command on 26th and 27th June.
Brigadier General FITZ JOHN PORTER,
Commanding Fifth Corps, Army of the Potomac.