During the entire engagement the attention of all was particularly attracted by the daring displayed by Dr. E. S. Bissell, assistant surgeon, who, in his efforts to see and attend to the wants of all the wounded of the regiment, frequently exposed himself to the most imminent peril. The adjutant would also express in this report the gratitude of the command to Chaplain M. C. Welch for his kindly offices in behalf of the wounded.
As this report is about being concluded, information is received through paroled prisoners that only 23 out of the 27 enlisted men are known by them to have been made prisoners, leaving the fate of the remainder in a painful state of uncertainty.
I am, general, your most obedient servant,
WILLIAM A. DANIELS,
Adjutant Fifth Connecticut Volunteers.
Brigadier General J. F. KNIPE,
Commanding First Brigade, First Division, Twelfth Army Corps.
Numbers 264. Report of Major Theophilus Fitzgerald, Twenty-eighth New York Infantry.
STAFFORD, VA., May 7, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report:
On May 1, the Twenty-eighth Regiment New York Volunteers, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Cook, marched from their bivouac, in the woods west of Chancelorsville, and took a position near the road leading in a southerly direction from Chancelorsville, and about 1 mile distant. They were then moved forward with the brigade about half a mile, when they were halted and deployed as skirmishers; engaged the skirmishers of the enemy, and, after a sharp contest, drove them from the woods they had previously held, and discovered the position of the main body, when, on receipt of an order from yourself, they retired, with a loss of 1 killed and 5 wounded, and rejoined their brigade in its former position.
The following day, when the brigade moved to the front, the regiment was left in intrenchments, and, when the Eleventh Corps fell back in disorder, was deployed along the breastworks to halt and reform the fleeing troops. A large number were halted and placed in position to defend the works, but at the first fire from the enemy the most of them left their position and ran in wild confusion to the rear, rendering futile all our efforts to rally them.
In the meantime the enemy had crossed the intrenchments on our right, and we were soon made aware of their presence by a sharp fire on our right and rear and in front of our right flank. We then moved to the front, hoping to maintain our old position; but the enemy pressed us on all sides, and, notwithstanding all our efforts, we were overpowered and two-thirds of the command taken prisoners.
Lieutenant-Colonel Cook on this as on former occasions conducted himself with great courage and gallantry, cheering and encouraging his men to stand their ground, though opposed by vastly superior numbers. The remainder of the regiment, about 40 in number, I formed on the hill in rear of the woods, where I left them to report to you.