I am much indebted to our chaplain, Haines, for his services in transmitting orders and attending to the wounded.
All my officers behaved well, especially taking into considerations it was their first engagement.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WM. H. PENROSE,
Colonel Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteers.
Captain J. T. WHITEHEAD,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., SIXTH ARMY CORPS, May 12, 1862.
SIR: I have the honor, it the absence of Colonels Brown and Buck (the former wounded and the latter injured by an accident), to submit the following report of the action taken by this brigade in the recent movements on the south side of the Rappahannock:
In compliance with orders received from headquarters First Division, Sixth Army Corps, on the afternoon of April 28, took up the line of march for Franklin's crossing, about 2 miles below Fredericksburg. Reached the north bank of the Rappahannock, where we bivouacked for the night, with the exception of the First New Yersey Volunteers, which was detached to support two batteries of the Reserve Artillery, which were to be stationed near the Gray farm, about 3 miles below White Oak Church, on the river. During that night the regiment rejoined the brigade at Franklin's crossing.
Just before daylight on the 29th, the brigade moved down to the river and crossed in pontoons, the Fifteenth New Jersey Volunteers in the advance. The regiment were promptly formed in line of battle on the south bank, where they remained until sundown, when they moved to the front, relieving General Russell's brigade, on picket duty immediately in front of the enemy.
During the night, the enemy's pickets withdrew some 500 yards, and in the morning our pickets advanced and occupied their grounds, where we remained until dark, and being relieved by General Bartlett's brigade, we fell back to the line of rifle-pits on the bank of the river.
This position we occupied until Saturday evening, when the Light Division moved to the front, the First New Jersey Volunteers being detailed to extend their line to the right. Being deployed, they attacked and drove in the enemy's pickets to the line of the railroad. During the night the First Regiment was relieved, and returned to the brigade.
On the morning of the 3rd, the brigade was under arms at 2 a. m. Soon after daylight, the Fifteenth Regiment was ordered forward to the old Richmond road, on arriving at which the colonel commanding was informed by the officer commanding the picket line that the enemy were in strong force in his immediate front and preparating to attack. Information was immediately sent to General Brooks, commanding division, when the balance of the brigade was brought up and took position on and near the road in support of two batteries (McCartney's and one other), which were brought up and put into position. This position was occupied until nearly noon, meeting with some loss from the enemy's shells and from an enfilading fire from their pickets. About this time,