No. 137. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Waldo Merriam, Sixteenth Massachusetts Infantry.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS,
May 8, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that on April 28 we broke camp, and took up the line of march about 4 p. m. for the Rappahannock River below Fredericksburg, arriving at 10.30 p. m., where we bivouacked until April 30, when we started, at 12 m., for the United States Ford. Crossed the river about noon, May 1, and were immediately ordered to the front, near General Hooker's headquarters.
About 6.30 p. m., May 2, heavy firing broke out on the right, and we started at a double-quick for the scene of action, leaving our knapsacks, blankets, &c., by order, on the ground, where they were afterward captured by the enemy. We formed line of battle in double-quick time, not withstanding in the greatest disorder. The regiment was kept as a reserve for different parts of the line during the entire night, with a loss of only 2 men wounded.
May 3, at 5 a. m., I was placed on the extreme right of the brigade as a reserve for the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Regiment. The enemy soon attacked in force to the left of us, moving by degrees toward out right. The front line broke and fell back on my left, immediately followed by the enemy. The front line broke and fell back on my left, immediately followed by the enemy. I threw back my left wing to cover the retreat of the Twenty-sixth, which regiment retired to my line, an dafter about ten minutes of hard fighting we were obliged to give way. The attack of the enemy was very furious, and the regiment has never lost so many men in so short a time. My men were very cool and steady, and held their ground with obstinacy.
I inclose a list of casualties.* I can obtain no information of Captain Alexander J. Dallas beyond that be was seen going out of the woods, wounded. He must either have been taken prisoner or died in the woods, which took fire soon after.
From that morning until we crossed the river nothing of note occurred.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully,
Lieutenant-Colonel Sixteenth Massachusetts Volunteers.
Captain GEORGE E. HENRY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
No. 138. Report of Colonel Robert McAllister, Eleventh New Jersey Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
May 7, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report to you the movements of my command, as follows:
April 27. - Received marching orders.
April 28. - Orders to be ready to march at 4 p. m.; 6 o'clock, moved
*Embodied in revised statement, p.178.