Numbers 283. Report of Colonel Charles Candy, Sixty-sixth Ohio Infantry, commanding First Brigade.
CAMP NEAR AQUIA CREEK, VA., May 8, 1863.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with instructions, I have the honor to transmit report s of the part taken by the several regiments of this brigade in the engagement of May 1, 2, and 3, at Chancellorsville, Va.
As you herewith have a detailed report from each regiment, I deem it unnecessary to make a detailed report myself, but will mention in general terms the conduct of the officers and men.
In obedience to instructions received from General Geary, commanding division, I posted four regiments on the right and two on the left of the Plank road leading the Fredericksburg, Va., April 30, forming three regiments in line and holding three regiments as a reserve or support to the front line.
During the night, received instructions to fell the timber in front for the purpose of forming an abatis, which was improved on afterward by the men building a breastwork, and throwing the dirt up with bayonets, swords, tin plates, and many using nothing but their hands, completing an intrenchment which resisted repeated attacks of the enemy from the front.
On the 1st instant, was ordered to advance with the remainder of the division as a reserve brigade. Returned in the evening about sundown. Considerable picket firing during the night and during the fore part of the next day.
Close on to sundown (the 1st instant), the Seventh Ohio and the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers were ordered to the front of the intrenchments, toward the woods on the left of the road, by order of General Geary, for what purpose I do not know, the order not passing through me. The Twenty-ninth Ohio volunteers were also ordered to the front, but only went a short distance, when the order was countermanded, they returning to their former position.
At about nightfall the Twenty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers took position on the right of the battery placed on the Plank road, and the Seventh Ohio Volunteers were distributed between the guns of the batteries on the left of the road for their support, where one was killed and several wounded by the supposed premature discharge of one of our guns. During the night of the 2nd instant, the men of these two regiments were engaged in throwing up intrenchments in front of the batteries and barricading the road. The remainder of the brigade-the Fifth, Twenty-ninth, and Sixty-sixth Ohio and One hundred and forty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers-were engaged in strengthening the intrenchments in their grants, when the enemy succeeded in pressing the Eleventh Corps to such an extent during the night that they were compelled to fall back, passing along the lines of my brigade, when the officers succeeded in securing quite a number of stragglers from the Eleventh Corps and placed them behind our trenches. A great many of these men had thrown away their arms; all such were allowed to pass to the rear. Several prisoners were taken immediately in our front and sent to the rear.
About dawn of day on the 3rd instant, the engagement became general on our right, when the brigade was ordered to the support of the batteries on our left, compelling us to change front to the rear, which was executed with as much promptness as if on parade. During all this