HDQRS. EIGHTY-THIRD PA. VOLS., 3rd Brigadier, PORTER'S DIV.,
July 7, 1862.
GENERAL: In conformity with the Army Regulations and customs of war I have the honor to report upon the part taken by the Eighty-third Regiment in the action fought before Richmond on Tuesday, 1st instant:
Halted near Turkey Creek on Monday, the 30th ultimo. The Eighty-third Regiment, together with the remainder of the Third Brigade, were ordered to re-enforce the troops then engaged with the enemy some distance in rear and from the James River, and proceeded accordingly to the heights, distant nearly a mile from where they were. Here until after sunset we remained in reserve without our services being called upon, when it was notified we had been detailed for outlying pickets that night. From this latter duty we were relieved at 8 o'clock the following morning and returned back to our camp ground where until 11 a. m. same day we rested, when we were ordered to prepare to march and advance to the edge of the wood, distance some 300 yards, and support General Martindale's brigade, who were farther in front and momentarily expected to be attacked. The eighty-third, having instructions that in case the brigade advanced and drove the enemy back they were to follow up the pursuit and secure any prizes or prisoners that might be captured, or in the possibility of the brigade being driven back by the enemy they should allow its lines to pass to the rear, charge upon the assailants, and defend to the last extremity the position assigned them, made all due preparations for the expected onslaught and watchfully waited its coming.
Acting under the last impressions, we waited until 3 p. m. without the enemy's near approach, during which time and up to that hour terrible cannonading was kept up in front, and many shells burs t close to and caused much annoyance among our men. From 3 to 4 p. m. the fire ceased, at which latter period it was notified by a general order that the enemy were evidently making a demonstration on our left and front, and intended to turn or force his way in that direction. This announcement communicated, shortly after 4 p. m. the regiment, being in line, counter-marched and fronted in the supposed direction of the adversaries, and then deployed into column of division right in front,and lay down, distance nearly one-third of a mile in rear of our batteries, which were directly in front and hotly engaged with the enemy. A terrific cannonading was now kept up between the contending artillerists. The shot and shell plowed up and tore the earth and trees in all directions. Many of our men were becoming wounded and carried to the rear, when our brigadier-general (Butterfield came galloping furiously along and called out for the Eighty-third, and in a few but very appropriate words appealed to their valor, ending his speech with, "Eighty-third, you'll be called on presently. When you advance let your war-cry be, 'Revenge for McLane.'"
About 6 p. m. the order to advance was given. A wild yell rang from our ranks. Onward we went, passing through the ranks of General martindale's brigade, gaining our position only just in time to save our guns, as most assuredly if we had been a moment later the enemy would have captured them. Here, confronted with the enemy, both lines steadily advanced toward each other, and when within about 200 yards of the foe we halted, delivered a volley, and dropped on our knees. Our opponents, although shaken by this fire, still approached, and evidently intended to charge. Our regiment opened fire again, pouring