command until the morning of the 2nd instant. On the 27th ultimo the battalion was drawn up in line of battle just within the edge of the timber to the right of the road leading to the bridge just below Dr. Gaines' house and fronting the Chickahominy River. This was at an early hour in the morning. After remaining in this position about half an hour in obedience to orders I marched the battalion out into the main road, and joining the brigade marched by Gaines' Mill, and finally took up a position on what I understand to be the Cold Harbor road. Upon taking this last position I was instructed to support the Fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, then in line on my left.
About 11.15 o'clock a.m. the batteries in my rear opened fire, which was briskly returned by the enemy, and occasioned me the loss of one man from Company I, Tenth Infantry, and two men from Company C, Seventeenth Infantry, First Battalion. Between 2 and 3 o'clock p.m. I received orders from yourself to advance, and morning the battalion marched across the road by the right flank, passed through the hollow on our front, and formed line of battle on the brow of the hill on the right of the Third Brigade, and the enemy appearing, I opened fire upon them by rank.
Here allow me to digress for a moment to do justice, as far as in my power lies, to the gallant conduct of my officers. Too much praise cannot be awarded to Captain Albert Dodd, First Lieutenant E. P. Pearson. jr., First Lieutenant C. H. Corning (adjutant first battalion Seventeenth Infantry), and First Lieutenant D. L. Montgomery, First Lieutenant F. D. Howell, and Second Lieutenant John S. Knapp, of the Seventeenth Infantry; First Lieutenant George S. Lauman and First Lieutenant Heyward Cutting, of the Tenth Infantry, for their coolness and courage. So long as there was an enemy to be seen they superintended the fire of their companies with a care and attention which could not have been excelled had they been drawn up for drill. The enemy after a while fell back, when the whole line advanced to the edge of the timber and halted, no enemy being in sight. In a few moments the line on my right and left retired, and being so small and having no support, I ordered the battalion to retire to the position occupied prior to the last advance. This was done in admirable order, although the movement had hardly commenced before the enemy opened fire from a battery upon us, killing Captain Albert Dodd and 1 man.
We had hardly resumed our old position on the brow of the hill when a regiment advanced on our left, and, morning in line of battle, quite covering my left company. The major of this regiment gave the order for his line to advance, which, being misunderstood, they broke to the rear, and for the moment quite engulfed my little battalion. And here again the cool bravery of the officers named above proved equal to the emergency, and soon brought both lines back to their original position.
About this time a party of our (not more than two companies), with buck-tails in their caps, came up and took position on my right, and, as those had done before on my left, extended themselves so as to cover my right company. This alone would have caused me to suspend my fire had there been anything to fire at, which for more than an hour we were unable to discover, excepting now and then a few scattered parties of the enemy. It was now nearly dark, and, not having been relieved during the entire day, the men were very much exhausted and their ammunition nearly expended. I therefore sent Lieutenant Corning to you for instructions, and in obedience thereto withdrew the remnant of my command into the road, and occupied the position assumed by the Second Infantry in the early part of the day.