Numbers 57. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Walton Dwight, One hundred and forty-ninth Pennsylvania Infantry.
NEAR WHITE OAK CHURCH, VA.,
May 9, 1863.
SIR: Relative to the part our regiment has taken in the general movements of the past eleven days, I have the honor to submit the following report:
On the 28th ultimo we were ordered to move from our camp near Belle Plain; broke up camp at 12 m.; halted first night near the Rappahannock, below Pollock's Mill, nothing of interest occurring during our march to that point.
On the morning of the 29th ultimo, we were again moving, and took a sheltered position near the bank of the river, where our regiment remained without taking any active part in the operations going on in our front. While lying there, we were spectators of a very pretty artillery duel between our batteries, posted on a hill in our rear, and the enemy's, on the heights on the opposite side of the river. It being the first fire our regiment was ever under, it would not, perhaps, be amiss for me to remark that the desire to get a better sight was so great on the part of our boys that I had much to do in keeping them under shelter while the shells were whizzing by us.
On the morning of the 2nd instant, we again received marching orders. We moved during the next sixteen hours from Pollock's Mill to a point near Chancellorsville, distant some 20 miles, where we took position in front and near the right of our main army, operating against the enemy at this point. We immediately proceeded to erect rifle-pits, abatis, &c., and made our position a very strong one. This was all accomplished by 9 a. m. of the 3rd instant. A small party of picket men I sent our in the meantime had found the enemy about three-quarters of a mile distant from our line of works. During the day our regiment captured 86 prisoners in front of our picket line. Nothing of interest occurred during that night. False alarms, caused by unnecessary firing by the pickets on the left of our brigade, kept us constantly on the lookout. We were always ready for an attack.
The 4th was a dull day; no fighting or capturing of prisoners. All was quiet until toward night, when we were ordered to fall in for a reconnaissance in force. Every man was eager for whatever the next few hours had in store; we moved our cheerily. It is unnecessary for me to speak of the part we took in that affair. However, it would be well to here remark that the 4 prisoners taken on that occasion were captured by two of our companies acting as skirmishers, under Captains McCullough and Osborne, making the total number captured by our regiment while across the river 90. I do not know how many guns or equipments were captured, as some were captured without arms.
The 5th instant was a quiet day, nothing of interest occurring.
On the morning of the 6th instant, we were again moving; recrossed the river, and marched back to our old camp near Belle Plain, where we arrived on the morning of the 7th instant.
Ont he morning of the 8th, marched to our present camp.
In conclusion, I can only remark that the cheerfulness, perseverance, and general good qualities constantly displayed by our men under all the various circumstances by which we have been surrounded in the