should place the same in rifle pits to the left of the for this purpose. I promptly obeyed the order, although the command was exhausted and without food or ammunition. General Smith at once ordered rations and ammunition to be served out in abundance to the command, and soon made its wet and weary soldiers comfortable and cheerful by his soldier-like kindness.
My command, well quartered and supplied with food, I started at 11 o'clock at night, and walked with Captain Campbell, of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, to the headquarters of General McClellan, to report to the general commanding the brigade, when I received orders to bring up my command to that place, which I did on the morning of the 28th ultimo, and reported the same to the general. The Forty-forth New York lost in this battle 5 killed, 22 wounded, and 29 missing. Most of the missing were killed or wounded in the retreat and remained in the hands of the enemy. Captains Van Derlip and McRoberts and Lieutenants Gaskell and Becker were wounded in this battle.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES C. RICE,
Captain THOMAS J. HOYT, Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FORTY-FOURTH N. Y. VOLS., THIRD BRIGADE,
Harrison's Landing, Va., July 7, 1862.
CAPTAIN: As commanding officer of this regiment during the battle of the 1st instant I have the honor to report that on the night of the 30th ultimo the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers, with the three other regiments of the brigade, wearied and exhausted by the unparalleled marches made by the Army of the Potomac during the previous three days, slept on the field upon its arms, awaiting with determined spirit expected attack of the enemy in the morning. The distant sound of the enemy's artillery aroused the wearied soldier from their deep slumbers, and at surprise the brigade was under arms and moving to the position in the order of battle assigned to it by the general commanding.
The character of the ground held by our forces is admirably adapted by nature for defense. It is a semicircular field of considerable extent, of high, undulating character, rising to the nature of a bluff in the rear and overlooking in that direction the low meadows, forests, and marshy grounds lying between it and the James River. The left is protected by a low, broad marsh, flanked by a dense growth of timber, while the front and right gently slope for a distance of 1,000 yards, terminating at length in an extensive plain of woods. partially and diagonally intersecting this field is a thin skirt of woods, which leaves an open space in passing to the front of not more than 250 yards, through which the main road runs. It was on the edge of the left of this skirt of woods and in their rear that the Third Brigade was stationed as a reserve during the early part of the day, to support either the left or right lines, as the nature of the attack of the enemy might require. During the forenoon the enemy shelled this skirt of woods quite vigorously from his right, but fortunately without injury
to our brigade.
Early in the afternoon the general received information that the evident design of the enemy was to attack our left, and breaking through our lines at that point, to advance through the open space be fore referred to. He therefore ordered the brigade in single columns.