I have to report my commendation with regard to the officers, and also state that the greater part of the enlisted men fought nobly. I would mention First Sergeant App, who took charge of the caissons, and Privates Smith, Moffitt, Mallinger, Burke, Emmett, Reed, and others, who proved themselves good soldiers.
Captain, Third Artillery.
Numbers 140. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Robert C. Buchanan,
Fourth U. S. Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of the battle of Gaines' Mill, engagement at Turkey Bridge, and battle of Malvern Hill.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, REGULAR INFANTRY,
Camp near Harrison's Landing, Va., July 6, 1862.
SIR: In obedience to instructions from division headquarters I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my brigade since the 26th of June:
On the 26th, the brigade, consisting of the Third, Fourth, Twelfth, and Fourteenth Infantry, having just returned to camp near New Bridge from a reconnaissance to Totopotomoy Creek, was ordered out about 4 p.m. in the direction of Mechanicsville to support McCall's division, then known to be engaged with the enemy. We advanced about half a mile, and bivouacked for the night in order of battle. At daylight morning we moved back to camp, and after collecting the knapsacks of the men, sending off the sick to across the Chickahominy, and destroying the commissary and other stores, crossed the creek at Gaines' Mill to a position in front of McGehee's house, and covering the Cold Harbor Cross Roads, where it was disposed of in order to repel an attack of the enemy. I ordered the Fourth Infantry to support Weed's battery, posted on a knoll commanding the Cold Harbor road, whilst the Third was ordered to occupy a position along the head of the road and to the left of the battery, from which it could observe the road and a skirt of timber in front, through which the enemy might advance. The Twelfth and Fourteenth were drawn up in line in the corn field in front of McGehee's house. This disposition of my brigade was generally maintained throughout the battle, being only varied by the alternate successes of the opposing forces during the action, as the troops pressed back the enemy or were pressed back in turn. Our position was the extreme right of the line, and upon its being held very much depended.
About noon the enemy commenced by attacking our right flank with his artillery, to which Weed responded in a vigorous manner, soon silencing his battery and driving him from that part of the field. Tidball's battery was now advanced and took up a position on the right of Weed, and both retained their positions till the close of the battle. The action soon became lively on the right, and the Fourteenth Infantry was first thrown into the edge of the woods fronting the house, through which the enemy's skirmishers soon attempted to advance, but without success, as the Fourteenth routed and drove them off handsomely. Meantime they came up in force through the woods and field to the left, and immediately Major Clitz changed the front of his battalion (the Twelfth) and repulsed them handsomely. Again the enemy brought up his artillery and engaged Weed and Tidball, but was repulsed, with the loss of several caissons blown up.