to Generals Reynolds and Seymour, and to Colonels Simmons, of the Fifth, and Taggart, of the Twelfth, and Lieutenant-Colonel McCandless, of the Second, Major Stone, of the Rifles, who were all closely engaged. General Meade is entitled to the credit of great zeal and promptness in carrying out all the orders conveyed to him, though not immediately engaged.
It is with much gratification that I acknowledge my obligation to General Griffin, who promptly brought his fine brigade to my support at a time it was supposed to be much needed. Also to General Morell, whose division was within supporting distance had aid been required. My personal staff, Captain H. J. Biddle, assistant adjutant-general, Lieutenants and Aides-de-Camp Scheetz and Meconkey, deserve special notice for their gallantry in carrying orders and the other duties incident to their officers.
Battle of Gaines' Mill on the 27th June, 1862.
My division having been successfully withdrawn from its position after the repulse of the enemy at Mechanicsville on the morning of the 27th June, moved leisurely and steadily to the ground designated, in rear of Gaines' Mill, where it arrived at 10 o'clock a.m. Here I was notified by General Porter that my division, having been deprived of much sleep during the previous night and having been engaged for three hours that morning with the enemy, would be held in reserve to-day. As the troops arrived on the ground they were formed on the edge of the wood and constituted the first line, while the Reserves were on the plain some 600 yards in rear of the woods.
At 3.30 p.m. the enemy advanced, and very soon after the action commenced. Your ordered me to move forward the Second and Third Brigades of my division to support the first line. This was immediately done, and in a style that called forth an expression of admiration from the commanding general. These two brigades soon were under fire, in some instances the regiments going immediately into line, while in others they halted directly in rear of the line already formed.
In a short time after this the First Brigade of my division also was ordered forward and soon became engaged. In the mean time the batteries of my division, Cooper's on the right, and De Hart's, Easton's, and Kerns' in the center and on the left, also advanced, and shelled the enemy over the heads of the men in line.
The action soon became general, and the fire in front of my division, which was near the center of the battle line, increased to a deafening roar of musketry, above which the artillery fire at times could scarcely be distinguished. The enemy was apparently drawn up in five lines, and one after another was thrown forward on my front as fast as the preceding one recoiled before the well-directed fire of the Reserves, or with such short intervals that the thoroughly-heated musket had not time to cool. In this way for upward of three hours my brave fellows were under fire, either relieving each other or some regiment of another division, when the men became exhausted. About this time, seeing some commotion on the left of my division, I rode rapidly to the ground, and found that the Fourth had been driven in and was being rallied by General Meade. The line, however, was soon reformed, and I rode in front of the regiment, addressed the men briefly, and they soon resumed their place in line of battle.
Everything now on the left of the division was in successful and satisfactory operation. I therefore rode along the line, halting for a short time in the center, and then proceeded to the right. Here I