and around the bridge during the passage of the troops, and one shell struck it, and, exploding, destroyed one of the pontoons and part of the flooring of the bridge, obliging the One hundred and thirty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, about to cross, to return to the shelter of the river bank while the damage was being repaired. After crossing, a few more casualties occurred. The brigade was then marched toward the United States Ford, crossing the river near that point at about 3 a. m. on May 3, and took a position on the right of the army, forming a support for the first line.
On the 4th, moved to the extreme right, forming with two regiments a continuation of the first line, supported by two regiments in the second line, and on the 5th, at 4 p. m., sent the Twenty-second New Jersey Volunteers about a mile to the right, forming a line near the Rapidan. At about 10 p. m. the same day, during a heavy rain, marched the brigade toward the United States Ford, which point was nearly reached at midnight, when countermanding orders were received. The brigade retraced its steps, and its former position was nearly reached, when orders were received to march again toward the crossing and this was finally accomplished early on the morning of May 6. The troops were very much fatigued, having marched and countermarched all night in the mud and exposed to a drenching rain.
It is with pleasure that I can testify to the zeal displayed by the troops of my command, who were anxious for an opportunity to meet the enemy face to face. Although never before under fire, they showed great coolness when exposed to it, and would have given a good account of themselves in a closer conflict with the enemy.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
G. R. PAUL,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
ACTING ASSISTANT ADJUTANT-GENERAL,
Headquarters First Division, First Army Corps.
Numbers 30. Report of Brigadier General Solomon Meredith, U. S. Army, commanding Fourth Brigade.
CAMP NEAR FITZHUGH'S CROSSING, VA.,
May 28, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from headquarters First Division, First Army Corps, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command, the Fourth Brigade, in the recent operations of the Army of the Potomac against the enemy:
The brigade, consisting of the Second, Sixth, and Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers, the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers, and the Twenty-fourth Michigan Volunteers, broke camp near Belle Plain Landing at 12 m. on April 28; marched west, passing near White Oak Church, to within 2 miles of the Rappahannock, at Fitzhugh's Crossing, where we were halted until 12 midnight, when I received orders to move my command to the bank of the river and prepare for an aggressive movement. The brigade, however, moved slowly, in consequence of the delay in getting forward the pontoons. It was not until daylight that we got upon the river bank, at the place selected for our crossing, and, fortunately, a heavy for obscured us from view until sunrise, when the enemy opened a brisk fire upon us from their rifle-pits, which continued for some time,