On the 4th, one regiment was detailed for picket duty; the Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers was sent. It was relieved on the 5th.
On the eleventh of the 5th, we got orders to be ready to move at a moment's notice, and, at 2.30 on the morning of the 6th, three regiments of the brigade moved toward the United States Ford, the other two regiments having been detailed with the artillery. We crossed the ford soon after daylight, and proceeded to our old camp, where we now are, reaching here late in the afternoon.
The officers and men of the command generally behaved gallantly, and where all did so well it is impossible to particularize.
Inclosed please find reports of regimental commanders.
The following is a recapitulation of casualties during the late movement:
Officers and men. Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total.
Officers 4 27 3 34
Enlisted men 52 318 83 453
Total* 56 345 86 487
I remain, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain LE GRAND BENEDICT,
Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Third Army Corps.
No. 135. Report of Colonel Napoleon B. McLaughlen, First Massachusetts Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA., May 7, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of my command in the recent operations of this army:
Remained in that vicinity until the afternoon of the 30th, and during the forenoon of that day were mustered for pay.
At about 2 p. m. we were ordered to move up to the right.
Arrived at the United States Ford on the afternoon of May 1, and immediately crossed the river and joined the brigade, from which we had been temporarily detached as rear guard.
At 5 p. m. May 2, we marched to the front and formed line of battle on the ground but recently occupied by the Eleventh Corps. We were soon attacked by the enemy, losing 1 officer and 1 enlisted man killed, and 1 man wounded. During the night we threw up a breastworks of brush and earth, and were attacked several times.
At 5.30 a. m. May 3, the enemy advanced in force, and the action commenced. We held our ground for one hour, when we were obliged to fall back to the second line, and thence to a position 4 1/2 miles from the river.
*But see revised statement, p.178.