HEADQUARTERS SIXTEENTH MICHIGAN INFANTRY,
Harrison's Landing, James River, Va., July 6, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In recounting the history of the regiment on the 30th of June and 1st of July I shall go back no farther than the afternoon of the first-mentioned day. We were in camp, selected that morning, just beyond what is know as the Malvern estate, when orders came to move back over the road we came to that place. This we did about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, taking our position in rear of a battery, with orders to support it. We were in column doubled on the center
just below the summit of the hill when General Butterfield led us to the crest, and the battalion was deployed under a severe fire from the enemy's rifled pieces, the arms stacked, and the men ordered to lie down. We remained in this position a quarter of an hour or more, when, the enemy's firing growing less, we were again placed in double column at half distance, about-faced, and marched to the rear farther down the hill.
Directly afterward we changed direction by the right flank and marched farther out on the road in rear of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers as their support. in this position we remained all night and until a portion of the forenoon of the new day had gone by.
The enemy's artillery opening upon our right, the regiment was ordered toward a belt of woods that skirted the field upon the east, upon which we lay and through which a small stream ran. On the other side of which woods, about 200 yards distant, was a good road, running nearly parallel with the stream. We were deployed on the left of the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, and threw a platoon of our rifle company, Brady's Sharpshooters, Captain Dygert, about as skirmishers through the woods to cover our front. In this position we remained until about 2 o'clock p. m., when we again moved to the left up to the road in double column, with orders to support the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, who were 150 yards in advance. The country here was quite undulating, which would seem to protect our men from the enemy's artillery fire, but the cross-fire from their guns was exceedingly severe, and some of our men were killed and wounded by solid shot and shell.
Toward 6 o'clock p. m. we were ordered to advance to the brow of a hill 500 yards in advance, to the support of a battery just on the left of the road. This was done under a bitter fire of shell and spherical case-shot, wounding several men. As we advanced up the slope of the hill in line of battle the left of the battalion passed over two companies of the Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, who were lying down 200 yards in rear of the caissons. We advanced until the line was halted between the guns and caissons, breaking file to the rear for ammunition to pass through, where we remained until the battery was out of ammunition, perhaps three-quarters of an hour, when they limbered up and withdrew, and we opened fire. Some of the men helped to carry ammunition, and two of our men took the places of wounded artillerymen on the second section of the battery, and did good service until they were no longer needed. The battery we supported was Wolcott's Maryland battery. Our men and officers received high praise from the officers of the battery for the manner in which they were sustained under a galling fire of musketry. Another battery, under Colonel Hunt, I believe, coming to take the place of the one withdrawn, we ceased firing, after having fired about 40 rounds, and moved by the right flank to the rear.
Meanwhile the Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers had moved to the front on the left of the line parallel with the one we had just