At 3 a.m. of the 27th we were ordered to be ready to march at a moment's warning, but did not take up the line of march until 12 o'clock, and then moved in the direction of Gaines' Mill down the Chickahominy. We reached that point at 4 p.m., and finding heavy fighting going on, were ordered immediately into the engagement, and remained in the fight until dark, which time the enemy had been driven back a distance of 2 miles. I then reported to you with my command at the road, and was ordered to bivouac my men and give them rest. This was a very hard-fought battle, and the men deserve great praise for their coolness and firmness on this occasion.
On the 28th we remained quiet all day. The enemy having been driven across the Chickahominy, we were ordered to prepare two days' rations and be ready to march at daylight.
On the 29th we recrossed the river and moved down James River, marching a distance of 12 or 15 miles, and encamped.
On the 30th we again marched down the river in order to make an attack, and reached the point about 3 o'clock. The presence of the enemy was soon made known by the roaring of artillery, and we were immediately ordered up the road in the direction of the enemy by a flank movement under very great fire of shot and shell. Soon you, at the head of your brigade, filed to the right, and, moving 600 yards in that direction, halted, faced to the front, and forming a line of battle, moved slowly through a skirt of woods until you reached an open field; you then halted, formed a perfect line of battle, and charged, by the double-quick and with a yell, the enemy's batteries, which were strongly supported by infantry across this field, a distance of 500 yards. We at the same time were enfiladed by grape shot; neither fire upon the front or flank at all stopped the men, but on they pressed and soon silenced the fire upon them. They seemed not to heed the falling of friends by their side, but had the great duty of defeating the enemy foremost in their minds. Here my loss was heavy, not so much in killed as in wounded.
My men in this charge had no cover at all.
I cannot refrain from asking that great praise may be given to both officers and men for their actions on this occasion.
After passing through the field and entering the field on the opposite side my regiment became divided by the interference of a brigadier-general, unknown to me, who had ordered the left of my regiment to march to the left. I remained with a portion of my men on the field until dark, and reported to you in an old field, at which place you were encamped.
On July 1 we were quiet until 6 o'clock in the evening, at which time we were ordered in to support D. H. Hill's division. In this fight I was not engaged, but was under a heavy fire of shot and shell.
On July 2 and 3 we were marching after the enemy, but their retreat was too speedy to be overtaken. We then bivouacked for several days, inviting the enemy to battle, which was not accepted. We then marched to this point, arriving here on the 9th instant.
My lost was very heavy for a small command. The report of casualties has been sent in, as well as that of the action of officers and men who need correction.
I am happy to say that, with few exceptions, I am truly proud of the officers and men of my command, I cannot well make distinction among those officers and men, who so nobly did their duty, but ask that credit may be given those to whom it is due and action taken against those who deserve it.