Numbers 31. Report of Colonel Samuel J. Williams, Nineteenth Indiana Infantry.
CAMP IN THE FIELD,
May 11, 1863.
SIR: In compliance with circular from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment (the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers) in the operations of the Army of the Potomac, commencing April 29 and closing on May 6:
Early on the morning of April 29, my regiment advanced in line of battle, supporting the Twenty-fourth Michigan Volunteers, to the bank of the Rappahannock, under a sharp fire of musketry, sustaining a loss of 1 man killed and 3 wounded. We then embarked in the pontoon boats and crossed, and immediately formed a line of battle on the heights above. We advanced in line to the left, and halted in a meadow, where we deployed Company B as skirmishers, and lay on our arms for about one hour, when, by order of General Meredith, we fell back under the crest of the river bluff.
In the afternoon we were ordered to occupy the position then held by the Sixth Wisconsin, about one-fourth of a mile to the left, which I did, and my regiment lay on their arms all night. Considerable rain fell during this time. Companies E and K were on picket in our front all night.
About 10 a. m. on the 30th, moved, by order of General Meredith, still farther to the left, taking the ground held during the night by the Twenty-fourth Michigan, and on the left and front of a small piece of timber, where we at once commenced to throw up earthworks as a protection against the enemy's shells, one of which struck and burst in our half-completed works in front of Company F. No damage was done. Without this defense it would most probably have killed and wounded 5 or 6 men.
On Friday morning, May 1, I sent four companies, under Major Lindley, to the front and left, to finish and hold a small earthwork commenced by the Twenty-fourth Michigan.
In this position we remained until the morning of Saturday, May 2, keeping out from one to two companies day and night as pickets and skirmishers, when, by order, we fell back behind the river bluff, and recrossed to this side, leaving Company K, Captain William Orr, as skirmishers, who remained until all the force had crossed, and then fell back in good order to the pontoons, rejoining his regiment some 2 or 3 miles from the river, on this side. Encamped for the night some 3 miles from the United States Ford.
We were under arms at 2 a. m. on Sunday; crossed the pontoon bridge at about 4 a. m., and moved to our position on the Gordonsville and Fredericksburg pike, supporting a regiment of the Second Division.
In this position we remained until the morning of the 6th, when we fell back to the bank of the river and stacked arms. We were under arms again in about two hours, and crossed the river to this side; marched to Hartwood Church, and encamped for the night.
On the morning of the 7th, we got under arms and marched to our present camp.
In closing, let me say I cannot too highly praise the conduct of the officers and men under my command. Their courage and coolness under fire, the promptness with which they obeyed my orders, the way the