Numbers 132. Reports of Colonel Henry S. Lansing,
Seventeenth New York Infantry, of operations June 25-July 2.
HARRISON'S LANDING, July 2, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In accordance with special orders detailing this regiment upon special service I reported to General Stoneman midnight 25th ultimo. In accordance with instructions received from him I was with the Seventeenth Regiment at Old Church by 7 o'clock on the morning of the 26th. General Stoneman arrived with his command at 10 a. m. In accordance with orders received from him I moved my command to the point where the branch roads intersect the main road to Richmond via Mechanicsville, in which direction the enemy was reported advancing. Colonel Barnes, of the Eighteenth Massachusetts, arriving about noon via Mechanicsville, and the enemy having been reported approaching by the old Church road, under the instructions of General Stoneman I sent there with his command to support a section of Gibson's battery.
Later in the day, hearing the enemy were between us and Mechanicsville, under General Stoneman's instructions I left Major Hayes, with four companies of the Eighteenth Massachusetts, to support a section of Gibson's battery, the rest of the command falling back and taking position on the opposite side of a stream, about half a mile distant from Old Church and on the bluff of the ravine through which the stream ran. Throwing out a heavy line of skirmishers, we bivouacked for night.
Before daylight on Friday morning we were under arms. We remained
in this position, listening to the heavy battle waging in our rear until about 1 p. m., when General Stoneman received orders to fall back to White House. Major Hayes, with his four companies and a squadron of cavalry, forming the rear guard, made a rapid march, arriving at Tunstall's Station inside of four hours.
Major Hayes, with section of battery, was left to defend the bridge below Tunstall's Station, with orders to destroy it after our cavalry scouts and pickets should have come in. Colonel Barnes and the balance of his command bivouacked in the valley to support Major Hayes in case of an attack. The Seventeenth, with two sections of the battery, with the cavalry not on duty, were posted to the left, on the high bluff which commands the valley and approaches. In this position we remained during the night.
Early in the morning of Saturday, the 28th, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Bartram, with four companies of the Seventeenth, to Tunstall's Station, with orders to retire only in the presence of a superior force. Soon after noon the enemy were reported within half a mile of Tunstall's Station, with a force of infantry and cavalry on both sides of the road. The cavalry scouts reported them advancing over the hill.
General Stoneman, feeling assured that our forces had fallen back across the Chickahominy, ordered the command to fall back on White House. Colonel Barnes, supporting the battery, retired by the Valley road, while the Seventeenth covered their right flank along the bluff. Upon arriving at White House the work of destruction of all stores remaining was begun. When it was completed, General Stoneman having directed me to embark the infantry, I sent Colonel Barnes on board