We then opened fire on the enemy and checked their advance, the enemy returning the fire sharply and retiring. Soon after I received orders from Colonel Matheson to cease firing, as the Jersey brigade were forming in front of us. As soon the smoke cleared away I saw a line formed across the field near the woods, which I was led to believe was the Jersey brigade. I watched the line and discovered that it was moving toward us. I then was convinced there was some mistake, and informed Colonel Matheson. He ordered me not to fire till he could ascertain who they were. I then went to the front, and discovered their flag when they were about 150 yards from us. They were coming down upon us line of battle and at a double-quick. Almost simultaneously with my discovering their identity they opened fire upon us. I immediately gave the order to commence firing, and checked their advance. We continued this fire without intermission until 7.30 o'clock, when I discovered that the enemy had succeeded in turning our right flank and was pouring in a terrific fire upon us.
At this time we were out of ammunition. I then received orders from Colonel Matheson to fall back and form line of battle in the road to our left, which I made an effort to do, but the enemy being within 30 yards of us, and the troops on the left of us having broken and retreated in disorder and my men being between two severe fires, I found it impossible to do, and immediately moved then under cover of the woods along the ravine in the rear of the batteries. In falling back we received the most severe fire of the day and lost the most part of our men. Captain Theodore C. Rogers, of Company H, fell mortally wounded, and was carried a short distance to the rear, but the enemy pressing us closely, we were obliged to leave him. Also Lieutenant H. G. Goodno, of Company K, after having performed his part in the day's battle most nobly, fell with a severe wound and was taken prisoner, but subsequently escaped. I fell back with my regiment to the hill-side in rear of the hospital and there rallied the regiment, which had become somewhat disordered in the retreat. I remained there till about 10 o'clock, when, receiving no orders, I recrossed the Chickahominy and returned to my camp.
It gives me great pleasure to state to you that all the officers and men of my regiment who were in the battle behaved with the greatest coolness and bravery, and I would mention particularly Captain A. Barclay Mitchell, of Company C, who was unceasing in his endeavors to keep his men cool and firm, and who was to my personal knowledge in a perfect hail-storm of grape and canister, encouraging his men and holding them steady; also Lieutenant Daniel Daley, of Company A, and Lieutenant Robert Malone, of Company D, whose gallantry cloud not be surpassed. I would also call your attention to the fact that the Thirty-first New York poured a volley into us from our rear, killing 1 man and wounding 2, and causing the right wing of my regiment to fall back a few paces. They were immediately rallied, and returned to fall back.
The number my regiment lost in killed, wounded, and missing from the battle of the 27th is 110, being in detail 12 killed, 63 wounded, and 35 missing.*
All of which is respectfully submitted.
JOHN C. MEGINNIS,
Major, Commanding Eighteenth New York Volunteers.
Lieutenant S. W. WALDRON, jr.,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Brigade.