No. 97. Report of Major Samuel K. Wilson, Twenty-eighth New Jersey Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 10, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the five days' action at Chancellorsville:
At 4 p.m. on April 30, crossed the river at the United States Ford. After reaching the heights, skirmishers were thrown out to feel our way.
About sunset the brigade moved forward, marching some 6 miles, and encamped on Bullock's farm, near Chancellorsville.
Next morning (May 1), battle was opened at 12 m., our brigade acting as rear guard. Shortly after, we moved forward as if going into the fight, but not being needed, were sent back to our old encampment on the farm.
Here we spent the remainder of the day, but just before sunset we were drawn up in line of battle on the edge of the woods, toward the right, and in that position spent the night.
Saturday, May 2, changed our position to the left, and were drawn up in line of battle on the edge of another wood. Rifle-pits were thrown up and skirmishers sent out in advance. Remained there until the following morning.
May 3, about 7 a.m, we were detached from the brigade and placed under the command of Colonel Robertson, of the Twenty-fourth New Jersey Volunteers, when we were ordered to the left, and formed in line of battle in the rifle-pits.
About 7.30 a.m. we were ordered from the pits to advance to the front and form in line of battle at the edge of the wood, and advanced about 500 yards, with our left resting on the Twenty-fourth New Jersey Volunteers; came to a halt, and sent Company F out as skirmishers to the right, who soon became engaged with the skirmishers of the enemy. Were supported by some Pennsylvania volunteers, who, together, engaged the enemy for nearly an hour. At length, finding themselves flanked and overpowered, they were compelled to fall back upon the regiment with such precipitancy, so closely pursued by the enemy, that the regiment was unable to fire without danger of killing our own men.
We were compelled to retire in some disorder, after the loss of our commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Wildrick, either killed or captured. The regiment then reorganized near the rifle-pits from which we had formerly advanced, and marched with the brigade to the edge of the wood on our left, where confusion arose, and, through mistake, the regiment became disengaged from the balance of the brigade, and, not knowing their whereabouts, did not return and join the brigade until about 9 o'clock next morning.
We lay in that position until Wednesday morning, May 6. At 3 a.m. we began our retreat, reaching our old camp near Falmouth about noon of that day.
I have the honor to be, sir, your obedient servant,
S. K. WILSON,
Major, Commanding Twenty-eighth New Jersey Volunteers.
Lieutenant J. G. REID,
Act. Asst. Adjt. General, 1st Brigadier, 3rd Div., 2nd Army Corps.