search of General Berry, found that he had been killed some time previous. My ammunition was nearly out and the enemy on my right flank. I here found the Eleventh New Jersey, of the First Brigade, and requested Colonel McAllister to advance for the protection on my flank, to which he very gallantly responded, driving the enemy and relieving me from an enfilading fire, but to hold the position longer required re-enforcements. I sent captain Eayre to Major-General Sickles to state my condition, but did not receive any encouragement. Immediately afterward I went to him myself, but with the same result; there were no reserves at his disposal. The enemy still advancing in great force, I fell back slowly in rear of the line of batteries, where, under the orders of General Sickles, and with the assistance of Lieutenant-Colonel Hayden, of his staff, I reformed the remnant of the brigade. Previous to this time, Colonel Francine had retired from the field (unwell), having fought his regiment gallantly up to that time, but inopportunely now taking with him some 400 of the brigade, under the impression that I had been wounded, which left me with about 300 men and the twelve colors of the brigade.
The batteries soon retired, their positions being immediately occupied by the enemy's infantry. The fire became so hot that to remain in that position would be only to sacrifice my men, and, having no orders to retire, I advanced once more on the double-quick, again driving the enemy, taking possession of the small works thrown up for the protection of our guns, and planting the colors of the brigade on the parapets. My last round was fired here, and, no signs of support coming up, I retired form the field under a severe fire from the enemy's artillery and infantry, losing men at every step. Joining the division in the rear of the Chancellor house, I reported to Brigadier-General Carr, and was assigned a position in the third line of the new position.
In this action the loss of the brigade was as follows:
Officers and men. Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total.
Officers 5 46 --- 51
Enlisted men 50 374 48 472
Total* 55 420 48 523
Most of the officers and men are supposed to have been killed or wounded when falling back.
May 4. - The enemy shelled our position, wounding 2 officers and 4 enlisted men.
May 6. - Marched toward the United States Ford, recrossed the river, and arrived in camp the same day.
To mention any number of officers in this brigade for gallant conduct would be an injustice to the whole, where all behaved so nobly. To have fought with this brigade on May 3 is an honor which time cannot efface, and the proud satisfaction of having performed their duty to their manhood, their country, and their God is their reward.
I have the honor to be, major, your most obedient servant,
WILLIAM J. SEWELL,
Colonel Fifth New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
Major CHARLES HAMLIN, A. A. G., Second Div., Third Army Corps.
*But see revised statement, p. 179.