occupied a position on an eminence near the woods occupied by General Newton until nearly all their ammunition was exhausted, when they were ordered to retire to a position in rear, where a new line was formed.
The New Jersey brigade, commanded by Brigadier General G. W. Taylor, on its arrival on the field was formed in the same order at that of General Newton, and on arriving near the line of battle its regiments were ordered into the woods. The Fourth New Jersey, under command of Colonel J. H. Simpson, was detached from the brigade and ordered to an advanced position in the woods, where, cut off from the rest of our troops, the greater portion of it, together with its gallant colonel and all of its officers except those who had already fallen, were taken prisoners. The remaining regiments of the brigade and ordered to an advanced position in the woods, where, cut off from the rest of our troops, the greater portion of it, together with its gallant colonel and all of its officers except those who had already fallen, were taken prisoners. The remaining regiment of the brigade maintained the positions assigned them until their ammunition was expended and our entire line withdrawn. This brigade was accompanied by and supported Hexamer's battery (A), of the First New Jersey Artillery.
Having received no specific directions as to the disposition of the remaining brigade, under command of Colonel Joseph J. Bartlett, of the Twenty-seventh New York, I directed Colonel Bartlett to take position on the extreme left of the line, near the new road leading through the valley from Doctor Gaines' house to Alexander's Bridge. On approaching the point indicated Colonel Barlett found our troops engaged to the right of his position, and immediately moved his brigade to their support. He was subsequently ordered to the right of the line to support General Sykes, whose troops, fatigued by the long contest of this and the previous day, were nearly overpowered by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy. Porter's battery (A) of the First Massachusetts Artillery, was assigned to the command of Colonel Bartlett, and remained with his brigade during the day.
For detailed accounts of the operations of the several brigades of my command I would respectfully refer you to the reports of the brigade commanders, copies of which are herewith inclosed. It will be seen from the reports that not only were the brigades of the division separated from each other, but that in at least two instances was the brigade organization broken up and regiments detached to hold isolated positions in the woods. As to the conduct of the officers and men of my division I have only to say that the division entered the field 8,000 strong, and that the list of killed, wounded, and missing amounts in the aggregate to 2,021. These lists attest the devotion and heroism of officers and men. Notwithstanding this fearful loss (including as it does many of the bravest and best officers of the division) all the regiments left the field in good order, and returned to their camps in the same compact and orderly manner that characterized their march to the scene of conflict.
The brigade commanders, Generals Newton and Taylor and Colonel Bartlett, are each entitled to the greatest praise, not only for their heroic conduct on the field, but for their untiring efforts after the close of the action in bringing off the wounded and in maintaining order and steadiness amid the prevalent confusion.
The loss of the division in officers was particularly severe, not only in numbers, but in the character of those killed and wounded. Colonel Tucker and Major Ryerson, of the Second New Jersey, and Lieutenant-Colonel Heath, of the Fifth Maine, were killed while gallantly discharging their duty. Their loss is deeply felt in their regiments and throughout the division, and will be lamented by a wide circle of friends.
28 R R-VOL XI, PR II