highly of the courage and discipline evinced by my officers and men when engaged under fire trying to subdue a panic, themselves cool while all around them was fear and excitement, or of the steadiness with which they formed line under a very heavy fire when ordered to prepare to charge, and with which they left the field at a walk when ordered to retire.
Monday, June 30, at 10 o'clock p. m., by order of Captain Biddle, assistant adjutant-general to General McCall, I formed two squadrons of my regiment in a small ravine in rear of the Twelfth Infantry Reserve Corps and a battery of four guns and one squadron in the woods adjoining. My orders, as far as I had orders, were to remain in the position in which I was placed until a favorable opportunity occurred and then charge.
The position I held was a very bad one. The men were but partially sheltered, with no avenue of retreat until I bridged the swamp in the rear with rails, and so close upon the infantry that the field officers in the rear of the regiment were on a line with my company officers in front of their platoons.
We remained in this position some time, exposed only to an occasional shell, when suddenly a very heavy fire of infantry opened upon us. The battery limbered up to leave and the infantry began to show signs of disorder. My men were dismounted and lying on the ground, by my order, to escape the musketry, which was pouring over us apparently from two directions. I immediately ordered them to mount, but before many of them could get into the saddle the Twelfth Regiment broke in a most disorderly manner, without firing a shot at the enemy, and falling back upon the ranks of my men frightened the horses and compelled them to join in their disgraceful flight. I readily rallied the men a few funded yards in the rear of our former position and reformed them on a neighboring field.
I endeavored fruitlessly for some time to find an officer from whom I could obtain instructions or orders, taken being utterly unacquainted with the locality and in entire ignorance as to the disposition of our troops. I made my men as useful as possible, stopping stragglers, reforming parts of regiments, and guarding prisoners - not a very glorious but possibly a useful service.
I have the honor to hand you herewith a list of our killed, wounded, and missing.*
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAS. H. CHILDS,
Colonel, Commanding Fourth Pennsylvania Cavalry.
Captain JAMES C. CLARK,
No. 157. Report of Lieutenant John G. Simpson,
Battery A, First Pennsylvania Light Artillery, of the battles of Mechanicsville and Gaines' Mill.
HDQRS. BATTERY A, FIRST PENNSYLVANIA ARTILLERY,
Camp near Harrison's Landing, July 5, 1862.
SIR: I herewith transmit the following account of the operations of Battery A, First Pennsylvania Artillery, commanded by Captain H.
*Embodied in revised statement, p.33.