In obedience to orders from corps headquarters, I crossed this brigade over the upper bridge, and connected with the First [Second] Brigade, General Ward, upon this side, arriving on our present ground about 11.30 o'clock, and took up a position on the left of the First [Second] Brigade.
At 12 o'clock I was ordered by General Birney to take one regiment over to the right of our first line and to sustain the rifle batteries; also to guard our left flank with the other regiments of my brigade. I sent the Fifth Michigan. Lieutenant-Colonel Gilluly in command, to the ridge, and placed the Thirty-seventh New York, Colonel Hayman, One hundred and first New York Volunteers, Colonel Chester, and Seventeenth Maine, Colonel Roberts, in support of the batteries, keeping as a reserve the First New York and Third Michigan. These dispositions being made, I awaited the result of the attack then going on in front.
I received orders about this time (1.30 p.m.) from the general of the division to be prepared fully to sustain a charge on our batteries, should our forces then engaged be driven back.
At 2 p.m. it was evident that our forces were being driven in. I extended my left by moving the Seventeenth Maine to my extreme left. At this time the charge took place on the batteries in my front. The disordered troops, who had been driven in, by passing my front to the rear, did not dampen the ardor of my command, and when the enemy came within range, the Fifth Michigan, Thirty-seventh New York, One hundred and first New York, and Seventeenth Maine poured a withering fire into their ranks, which sent them to the right-about, they having met with a bloody repulse. This ended the infantry fight, as far as my brigade was concerned. We were subject, until night, to a heavy artillery fire, during which my men behaved handsomely. We lay on the ground under the enemy's batteries Sunday and Monday.
Monday, at 10 p.m. I received orders from the division general to form my brigade on a third line, in rear of the road, and to be prepared to move at a moment's notice. A half hour later I received orders from General Stoneman, command the corps, to move my brigade by its left flank to the rear, and form a line of battle, the left resting on the river, and the right resting on General Sickles' left flank. Captain Summer, of corps staff, was sent with me to place the brigade in position. As I was about forming my line, I received a second order from corps headquarters, through Captain Livingston, of the artillery, to march my brigade directly to the lower bridge, to cross and go into camp near corps headquarters. I proceeded on with my brigade, crossed the lower bridge, and went into camp within 400 yards of corps headquarters at 1 a.m.
At daylight I reported in person to General Stoneman, and sent Lieutenant Freeman, of my staff, to report to division headquarters.
At 8 a.m. I received orders from division headquarters to join the division, and place my brigade, in rear of the First Brigade. I did so, and followed it to its camp, and then, under direction of the general of the division, I placed my brigade in its present camp.
This brigade has sustained in this battle its former good reputation; forming as it did, on the plains of Fredericksburg, under fire of the enemy's batteries from the heights in front, and from their batteries on our flank, without any signs of wavering, is proof of its reliability.
I have to again, as upon every field where this brigade has fought under my command, make honorable mention of the Fifth Michigan Volunteers. Its brave chief, the gallant Lieutenant-Colonel Gilluly,