Having performed my promise to Colonel Gallagher that I would stand by him, and giving the order to the regiment to rise and give the enemy a volley as he passed and perceiving that it would be perfect folly to attempt to hold my ground any longer, the whole army on my right and left having retreated probably as much as an hour before, there was no alternative but for my regiment also to retire. We had, however, proceeded but a few yards when I noticed that we were moving against a large body of the enemy, drawn up in several lines, and a battery directly in our rear, to cut us off. The consequence was that being surrounded overwhelmingly on every side, to the front, flanks, and rear, like the Eleventh Pennsylvania we had done our whole duty in keeping at bay the enemy for an hour after every other regiment on our right and left had fallen back, and attributing the mishap entirely to the fact that I received no orders from the brigadier-general commanding of any other authority to retreat (being in the woods it was impossible for me to see what was going on on the flanks), I cannot reproach myself or my regiment with any fault on account of our capture.
I cannot bear my testimony too strongly to the valor of the regiment under my command. For the first time under immediate fire, continuing the fight for near three consecutive hours, and holding whit the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves the center of the front line for probably an hour after every other regiment had retreated, it showed an obstinate courage which was not unworthy of the fame of Jersey troops, and which must relieve them of any blame on account of the misfortunes of the day. In this connection it is proper to remark that while a prisoner of was in Richmond I learned the enemy in this day's fight outnumbered our forces engaged two to one.
Where the officers generally behaved so gallantly it is not expected that I should mention them particularly, but I would be derelict did I not present the names of Lieutenant Colonel William B. Hatch and Adjt. J. S. Studdeford, who more especially and conspicuously aided me by their zeal, coolness, and activity in inciting the regiment to the brave and persistent stand which it took under such adverse circumstances during the whole engagement.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. H. SIMPSON,
Colonel Fourth New Jersey Vols. and Major Top. Engrs.
Captain ROBERT T. DUNHAM,
A. A. G., First Brigadier, Slocum's Div., Sixth Army Corps.
No. 176. Report of Colonel Joseph J. Barlett,
Twenty-seventh New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of the battle of Gaines' Mill.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, GENERAL SLOCUM'S DIV., SIXTH PROVISIONAL ARMY CORPS,
Harrison's Landing, Va., July 7, 1862.
SIR: At daylight on the morning of the 27th of June I put my command under arms in light marching order in compliance whit orders from Brigadier General H. W. Slocum, commanding division, and moved at