War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0712 Chapter XXXVII. N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA.

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fled before us like sheep, and took refuge behind the breastworks and reopened fire upon us. After delivering a few rounds, I ordered a second charge. Our men charged to the breastworks on the extreme left of our line. In some instances a regular hand-to-hand fight took place. The enemy soon gave way, and, being in our abatis, they were soon thrown into the utmost confusion. While endeavoring to retreat through the brush and tree-tops, they became mixed up in a perfect jam, our men all the time pouring in the most deadly fire. I can safely say that I have never witnessed on any other occasion so perfect a slaughter. Many of them made no attempt to get away, but threw down their arms and came into our lines. I think I am safe to say that we took from 150 to 200 prisoners, and sent them to the rear.

In short, the enemy at this time had been drive from our front over the breastworks through the abatis into the woods beyond in utter confusion. All this time there was very heavy firing going on on our right, and was fast gaining our rear. I soon ascertained that our forces were being driven back. I immediately ordered our line to fall back, which it did in good order, and formed again on the original line of battle.

By this time many of our men were entirely out of ammunition, and but a few rounds remained to any. The enemy were still advancing on our right and our forces falling back. At this critical moment, I received orders from you to fall back in good order, which was done.

Before closing this report, I desire to pay a just tribute to the brave soldiers and officers of this brigade. To say that the tree old regiments-the Second Massachusetts, Third Wisconsin, and Twenty-seventh Indiana-fully sustained the reputation they won at Cedar Mountain and Antietam, is the very highest compliment that can be paid them. I consider these the three best regiments I have ever seen in action.

I had an opportunity of witnessing the manner in which the One hundred and seventh New York and Thirteenth New Jersey Regiments acquitted themselves during the engagement, and take great pleasure in stating that the officers and men behaved handsomely and fought bravely. Troops of their experience could scarcely have done better.

Inclosed please find a complete list of killed, wounded, and missing of this regiment.*

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel Twenty-seventh Indiana Volunteers.

Brigadier General THOMAS H. RUGER,

Commanding Third Brigadier, First Div., Twelfth Army Corps.

Numbers 274. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John R. Fesler, Twenty-seventh Indiana Infantry.


May 13, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Twenty-seventh Indiana Regiment in the battle of Chancellorsville, Va., on the night of the 2nd, and Sunday, May 3:

On Saturday evening, after the reconnaissance made by the Third Brigade between the hours of sundown and dark, Captain Scott, your


*Embodied in revised statement, p. 184.