fantry, aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant M. C. Boyce, Tenth Infantry, acting aide-de-camp-rendered me great service by the active and efficient manner with which they communicated my orders to the different parts of the field.
On the morning of the 2nd, the position of the brigade was changed to a line on the road leading to Ely's Ford, where, during that and the following day, very strong works, covered by abatis, were constructed.
In this position the brigade remained until the morning of the 6th, when it was withdrawn, and during the day, amid a cold storm of rain which flooded the roads with mud and water, it returned to its present camp. During the entire operations of the ten days, the men conducted themselves in a most creditable manner, working cheerfully at whatever they were called upon to do, whether to use the musket, the ax, or the spade, or to gather and pile up logs and brush for the defenses.
Herewith I have the honor to submit the reports of the different battalion commanders; also a list of casualties.*
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Second Infantry, Commanding Second Brigade.
Captain GEORGE RYAN,
Act. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Fifth Army Corps.
Numbers 188. Report of Captain Samuel A. McKee, Second U. S. Infantry.
CAMP NEAR FALMOUTH, VA.,
May 7, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report as follows:
The battalion (Second U. S. Infantry) left camp, near Falmouth, Va., April 27, crossing the Rappahannock at Kelly's and the Rapidan at Ely's Fords, in conjunction with the remainder of the Second Brigade, meeting the enemy 2 miles south of Chancellorsville on the 1st instant, when the battalion, with the remainder of the brigade, was ordered at a double-quick to advance. The battalion of the Second Infantry, by your order, formed line of battle on the right of the Sixth Infantry, and advanced through thick woods for over half a mile, when it halted, and marched by the left flank to reform on the right of the Sixth, the connection with which had been lost, owing to the thickness of the woods through which the Second Regiment had to advance. The latter battalion had already been established on a slight rise of ground within 150 yards of the enemy's forces, which at this juncture opened a heavy fire of musketry, which was replied to briskly by the battalion, silencing the enemy, who apparently fell back. Holding this position for about half an hour, it was found necessary to advance a platoon of skirmishers from the battalion to the front and right, as the enemy were moving to the right and rear of our brigade, their skirmishers advancing at a brisk walk. The skirmishers of the Second Infantry, under the command of First Lieutenant William F. Drum, opened fire on those of the enemy, stopping their progress for a time. The battalion remained in its position until ordered to gradually fall back. When executing this order, Captain Salem S. Marsh, commanding the battalion, a gallant and
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 181.