mass. After resting here half an hour, we were ordered to return to the ground we had left in the morning, which we did.
The Second Corps than returned to Chancellorsville, leaving this brigade next the enemy. As the last division of the Second Corps passed us, General Hancock, who commanded it, sent word to me, by Dr. Winslow, that the enemy was following him in force, and that I had better get my command into the road and retire after his division. Although the suggestion, coming from such a source, was entitled to some consideration, yet, as I had no orders from General Sykes to leave the ground, I concluded to hold it, if possible, until I should receive such orders. I immediately deployed the brigade into line of battle, the left resting on a creek which crossed the road and the right connecting with the Second Brigade. This movement was not finished before our pickets were driven in, and the enemy was seen advancing over the crest of the ridge on the opposite side of the ravine, in our front. They showed two lines, each about equal to a regimental front. The right of their line I could not see, as it was covered by a grove of young pines.
As the One hundred and fortieth and One hundred and forty-sixth New York Volunteers were under fire for the first time, I thought it prudent to commence firing before the enemy got very close. As soon as the second line of the enemy showed itself, I gave the command to commence firing. The enemy had been firing quite rapidly for some time before a gun was fired from my brigade. At the command, a rapid fire by file was commenced, and continued until the enemy disappeared over the crest of the hill in our front, when we ceased. We were not again attacked. Three of the enemy were captured by the One hundred and fortieth New York Volunteers. At dark, the pioneers of the brigade were set to work felling trees in our front and digging a rifle-pit across the road on our left flank.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 2nd, the brigade moved from its position back through Chancellorsville, and took a position in front of the road leading toward Banks' Ford. The pickets were left out until daylight, and then withdrawn at once. This duty was performed by Lieutenant-Colonel Jenkins, One hundred and forty-sixth New York Volunteers, who took command of all the pickets of the division and brought them in safely. We remained in this position until evening, having details at work all day felling trees to form an abatis, and digging a rifle-pit. When the attack was made on the Eleventh Corps, we were ordered out, and marched at double-quick time toward the point where the action was going on. We were first posted near some old rifle-pits of the enemy, beyond the road to Ely's Ford, connecting on the right with the First Brigade, and our left supporting a battery.
At 2 a.m. of May 3, we were again moved to the right, and posted in rear of the Second Brigade, which was in line of battle.
In the afternoon of the 5th, we were again moved farther to the right, to support General Ayres' brigade.
At 2 o'clock on the morning of the 6th, we prepared to recross the Rappahannock on the morning the United States Ford, the brigade was placed in reserve in the rear of the First and Second, which were put in position to cover the crossing. We crossed with the division and arrived at our present camp in the evening. I send herewith a complete list of casualties in the several regiments of the brigade.*
Before ending this report, I would respectfully call your attention to the praiseworthy conduct of the two new regiments of the brigade.
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 181.