driven in, and the enemy was seen approaching, in line of battle, from what had been the previous morning our rear.
As the bridge was formed, the Sixty-third was on the extreme left of the line, and the first regiment engaged. Our left flank being unprotected, the enemy gained it, and poured in a most destructive fire without our being able to respond effectually. The position was held until over 30 per cent, of our numbers had been struck, when, with the rest of the brigade, it fell back, which, is, perhaps, excusable, considering the terrific flank fire it was under all the time. The regiment reformed in an open field near the brick house, and, with the rest of the brigade, advanced to the edge of the woods on our right, and formed line of battle, when a heavy firing commenced on the enemy's skirmishers. The regiment then, with the balance of the brigade, made a charge on the enemy. When on the brow of the hill, during the charge, Lieutenant-Colonel Kirkwood was wounded. I asked him if he would dismount. He said no, but to have him led to the rear. He knew nothing of the major or adjutant. I then left him, and assumed command of the regiment, which advanced to the breastwork at the foot of the hill, driving the enemy out of it, killing and capturing several.
The color sergeant, George W. Fitzgerald, was wounded in two places and the flag-staff broken in two by a ball, and was then taken up and carried by Corpl. George House, of the color-guard.
We maintained our position in the breastwork until the enemy got around on our right flank, and we were compelled reluctantly to retire. We formed again, however, on the brow of the hill in the woods, and kept up a galling fire on the enemy in front until our right flank was again exposed to a flank fire, when we fell back, with the brigade, behind the breastworks.
After the battle of Sunday, the regiment lay behind light breastworks in the rear of General Birney's headquarters until a recrossing of the river, on the morning of the 6th, was ordered, and it returned to its old camping-ground, near Potomac Creek Bridge.
The regiment lost heavily in wounded, and although few are reported killed, it is believed that the fate of many of the missing will ever remain shrouded in mystery, and that they now, with thousands of patriot martyrs, fill unknown graves along the Rappahannock. But whatever the mystic future may have in store for our country and her cause, we are assured that the names of her defenders, who sacrificed their all upon her sacred altar, will ever be treasured deep in the hearts of a grateful people.
I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,
JAS. F. RYAN,
Captain, Commanding Sixty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Captain F. BIRNEY, Assistant Adjutant-General.
No. 117. Report of Colonel Andrew H. Tippin, Sixty-eighth Pennsylvania Infantry.
HDQRS. 68TH Regiment PENNSYLVANIA VOLS., May 8, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I respectfully, submit the following details of the operations of my regiment in the late movements against the enemy at or near Chancellorsville. As the regiment was at all times with the brigade while under my command, its operations will not differ materially from others in the same.