Number 9. Report of Colonel William Humphrey, SECOND Michigan Infantry. MILLDALE, July 24, 1863.
SIR: Below you will find an imperfect report of the operations of my regiment on the 11th:
At 5 a. m. I was ordered By Colonel Leasure, commanding brigade, to deploy my regiment at skirmishers on the left of the skirmish line of the First Brigade, to kept my connection with in perfect, to be guided in the movements of my line strictly by those of the regiment on my right, and to advance until we drew the fire of the enemy's artillery.
I at once deployed my regiment and moved as directed, meeting with only slight opposition from the enemy until about 6 o'clock, when a brisk fire was opened along the whole line. We had come up to the enemy strongly posted in front of my right in a deep water-course, and of my left in the tick wood. We here received orders from the right to advance no farther for the present but fire was kept up briskly, and the enemy shoved a determination not to yield his position.
It was evident they were near they support, and that our farther advance would be warmly contested.
At 7 a. m. the order came down the line to charge double-quick. The regiment at once advanced with a cheer, drove in the enemy's skirmishers on to their reserves, strongly posted in a deep ravine, drove their reserve up out of the ravine onto their main support, which was drawn up in line of battle on the top of the south bank of the ravine, charged, under a terrible fire, up the bank on the main body, broke its line, and drove the enemy within its works.
We waited now for our support to come up, but were surprised to find that we had none. The regiment of my right, for some reason not know to me, advanced but a short distance, and then fell back to the line it had left but a few minutes before. By some mistake the three left companies of the regiment(C, h, and F) did not move with the rest in this charge, which was made with less than 200 men. FIFTY of these bad fallen. The enemy were being re-enforced, and we were entirely without support, with no connection on our right and no troops on our left. To hold the ground we had so dearly won for any length
of time was impossible. I therefore put my men under cover as well as possible, and held the ground till the men carried the wounded men to the rear(about three-quarters of ab hour)and gathered up and brought out their accouterments, and then fell gradually back to the line we had left and hour before. The regiment remained on this line till 3 a. m. of the 12th, when it was relieved by the Eleventh New Hampshire Regiment, and soon after joined the rest of the brigade.
In closing, I would like to speak of some of the officers and men of my regiment for their gallant conduct, as shown on this occasion. But were all behaved well, I could not do so without injustice to others.
Accompanying this I send a list of the killed, wounded, and MISSING,*
which to itself will attest the desperate character of the conflict. It was, in some parts of line, a hand-to-hand fight, and some of the men fell on the banks of the enemy's rifle-pits.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding SECOND Michigan Infantry.
Lieutenant J. C. LEASURE, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 543.