Tavern, when I was directed by Colonel Buschbeck, commanding First Brigade, to take a position south of the Plank road leading from Gordonsville to Fredericksburg, with his brigade.
On the evening of May 1, I received orders from Major-General Howard to place one section of my battery in rear of his headquarters, which I did. When, on the evening of May 2, the firing commenced on our right, we were for some time prevented from opening fire, first, on account of the thick woods some distance in front of the battery, which prevented us from getting sight of the enemy, and, secondly, when the enemy got in sight, our infantry, while retiring, rushed in such masses in front and past the battery that it prevented us for some time again to open fire. As soon as the infantry was out of our way, we opened with canister with good effect, and checked the advance of the enemy for a few minutes. Soon he advanced again in greater numbers, and, seeing that they were getting in our left flank, I gave the order to limber up and retire. In the act of limbering, all the cannoneers but 1 of one piece were wounded, and we were compelled to leave it on the field. On another one, after being limbered up and in the act of driving away, the 3 hand-horses and 1 saddle-horse were killed, and we had to leave this also. On another, 2 horses were killed, but, by the exertions and good behavior of the men, we succeeded in bringing it off with 2 horses.
In this action I had 1 man killed, 10 wounded, and 2 missing.
We retired to near the white house, where I refitted the remainder of my battery as well as I could for further action. I am happy to say that all officers and men behaved well during the engagement.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Commanding Battery I, First Regiment New York Light Artillery.
Brigadier General A. VON STEINWEHR,
Commanding Second Division, Eleventh Army Corps.
Numbers 252. Report of Major General Carl Schurz, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, with correspondence, &c.
CAMP NEAR STAFFORD COURT-HOUSE, VA.,
May 12, 1863.
GENERAL: About the part taken by the division under my command in the operations of the Army of the Potomac from April 27 to May 6, I beg leave to report as follows:
I deem it unnecessary to speak of the marches we executed previous to our arrival on the battle-field of May 2, as my division marched along with the corps without any separate action. I will only say that all orders were executed by officers and men with promptness and alacrity, and that the men marched better, were in higher spirits, and endured the fatigues and hardships of the march by night and day more cheerfully than over before. I have never known my command to be in a more excellent condition.
The division arrived at the junction of the Orange Court-House Plank road and the old turnpike in the afternoon of April 30. I was ordered to go into camp, facing west, on the open ground near Hawkins' farm. The disposition I made of my forces is shown on Diagram Numbers 1.