Colonel Rice, of the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, senior officer in command, by orders from me, sent through Major Vegesack, of my staff. At General W. R. Smith's camp they received every attention and kindness from that officer, which I desire sincerely to acknowledge. Such portions of the right as I had been able to keep in good order rested for the night on the hill at the hospital near Woodbury's Bridge, on the battle-field. Subsequently the whole command were moved by order of General Porter at about daylight across the Chickahominy to the Trent farm, the old headquarters of General McClellan.
On Saturday, by order of General Morell, two of my regiments were sent out on outpost the whole command were recalled and marched corps. Subsequently the whole command were recalled and marched to Savage Station and from there to White Oak Swamp, nothing worthy of note occurring on the march. The brigade encamped in the vicinity of the corps without tents, blankets, or rations, and marched at an early hour next day (Sunday, 29th), and took position on the Charles City road to repel any attack from that direction. At 8 p. m. it moved out with the rest of the division some 6 miles and back, arriving at the vicinity of the former camp at daybreak. The line of march was taken up toward James River at 6 a. m. Monday, 30th, arriving and going into camp in the vicinity and rear of Malvern Hill at 10 a. m.
On Monday afternoon we received orders to move to a position on Malvern Hill in front of the Malvern house, supporting some batteries of General Sykes' division or general Griffin's brigade, as circumstances might render expedient. The enemy opened fire with a battery from the woods on the left of that position, which, though for a time sending many shell among us, caused no loss. General Griffin sent to more for a regiment to support him late in the afternoon, and the Eighty-third Pennsylvania was sent to him and remained with him overnight, returning next morning. The balance of the brigade slept on their arms that night. In the morning, at about 8 o'clock, we took a position in the edge of the woods on the right of the Quaker road, behind the private road crossing it, with orders to support General Martindale, and if he captured any prisoners to take charge of them.
About noon, apprehending an attack from the enemy in large force upon the position held by General Griffin, near Mr.
's house and the junction of the road and private road, my brigade was formed, by General Morell's order, in close column in two lines in the rear of General Martindale's, and lay for a long time, suffering a severe artillery fire by the enemy, which killed and wounded several of my command. Shortly after this disposition the enemy opened a severe fire of shell, canister, grape, and round shot from different batteries on his right and left, for the most part, converged in the vicinity of this open space. The brigade for a long time and with great patience endured this artillery fire. Many of its soldier were wounded, yet that spirit of calmness and firmness, arising from discipline, but worthy of older and more experienced troops, prevailed throughout the entire ranks.
This patient endurance of such a severe converging fire of the enemy's artillery confidently assured me on what determination I might rely when the fortunes of the day should call the brigade from passive to active duty.
I at once endeavored to thoroughly acquaint myself with the nature of the ground in front, and, if possible, the threatening disposition which the enemy was continually making of his own forces. For this purpose I rode to the front frequently and personally gained the knowl-