No. 163. Report of Colonel Albert L. Magilton,
Fourth Pennsylvania Reserves, of the battles of Mechanicsville, Gaines' Mill, and Glendale, or Nelson's Farm (Frazier's Farm).
HEADQUARTERS FOURTH REGIMENT P. R. V. C.,
Harrison's Landing, Va., July 4, 1862.
GENERAL: In accordance with division orders, P. R. C., July 3, 1862, I have the honor to report that on the afternoon of June 26, 1862, the Fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps marched toward Mechanicsville and was placed near to and in the rear of Captain Easton's Pennsylvania Reserve Artillery, as a support to the battery; that we remained in this position all night until early next morning, when we were withdrawn to Gaines' house, and although we were in full range of the enemy's battery and shells exploding constantly around us, we had not a casualty.
June 27 we were again stationed in rear of Easton's battery, and remained until we were ordered into the woods as a support to the troops engaged. We soon came up to them, and found them to be the Duryea Zouaves. Here we were engaged in skirmishing, and drove the enemy well to the rear; but the enemy, being strongly re-enforced, pressed us closely, and we were obliged to retire, which was done in good order. We were soon in line on the clearing toward the Chickahominy, and were then ordered to the edge of the woods to support the Third Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, but subsequently we were ordered to the left of our line, where we were but a few moments when our center gave way and we were cut off, and made our escape only by crossing the Chickahominy, and came into Smith's division. The list of casualties will be found in the list attached.*
June 30 we were in position as given to the Second Brigade by General Meade. The Fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps was to the left and slightly to the front of Randol's battery. Here we laid concealed in the grass until the enemy came within 60 feet of my regiment, when I ordered my men to rise and fire, when I ordered my men to rise and fire, when the enemy broke to the rear. We kept up the firing, but the enemy being re-enforced, we were obliged to retire; bur shortly we faced to the front and drove them again, but being hotly pressed and losing many of my men, we were obliged to retire. A third attempt was made to rally, which was very weak, and finally my regiment broke and scattered in the woods. The next morning I collected about 200 men.
The officers and men behaved most gallantly, and there are many instances of personal daring - many hand-to-hand conflicts. I would especially mention the names of Major R. H. Woolworth, Third Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Corps, Acting Lieutenant Colonel, and Captain Thomas F. B. Tapper, Fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps, as deserving especial notice. I captured three secession and one Union flag from the rebels. I went into action with less than 600 rank and file, and my total loss in the two days' action was in killed, wounded, and missing 201, being more than one-third of the force engaged.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. L. MAGILTON,
Colonel Fourth Regiment P. R. V. C., Commanding Regiment.
Brigadier General TRUMAN SEYMOUR,
Commanding Division of Pennsylvania Reserve Volunteer Corps.
*Embodied in revised statement, p.40.