beyond our pushing my skirmishers, by a wheel of their line to the left, upon and against the right flank of those of the enemy.
I beg to speak of the efficiency of Major [E.] Croft, Fourteenth South Carolina Volunteers; Major [Isaac F.] Hunt, Thirteenth South Carolina Volunteers, and Captains [A. P.] Butler and [William T.] Haskell, of the First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, and Captain [D. R.] Duncan, Thirteenth Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, while respectively in command of skirmishers.
To Captain T. P. Alston, First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, who acted as my assistant adjutant-general, I feel myself under great obligations for his untiring zeal and efficiency. He was ready at all hours to go to any position, either to the skirmishers in front, or along the line. His calm, courageous bearing won my admiration and esteem, and to his intelligence and ready perception of his duties my labors, which would have been arduous in being placed suddenly in command of the brigade, were lightened by his aid.
After remaining at our entrenched position, we marched off on Wednesday, the 6th instant, and returned to this camp on Thursday, 7th instant.
It remains now but to speak of our losses. They were heavy (lists of which have already been forwarded to division headquarters, Brigadier-General Pender), and among them I regret to announce the death of Colonel James M. Perrin, Orr's Rifle Regiment, who was mortally wounded while gallantly fighting his regiment at the breastworks, on Sunday, May 3. Colonel Perrin was one of the captains of my old regiment (First South Carolina Volunteers), and on duty with me in South Carolina previous to my coming to Virginia in 1861. Since then he has at various times been under my command. A more zealous or efficient officer could not have been found in this command. Noble, brave, and pious, he lived to win the admiration and esteem of his friends, and, we will trust, died to receive the reward of a life spent in the strict discharge of every duty.
I beg to inclose the reports of the Thirteenth, First, Fourteenth, and Orr's Rifles, South Carolina Volunteers. The Twelfth Regiment South Carolina Volunteers was not engaged in the battles, but was detailed as a guard to prisoners, and on Monday, May 4, was sent off to Richmond with upward of 2,000 prisoners, and did not return to the brigade until two days after our return to this camp.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
D. H. HAMILTON,
Colonel, Commanding Second Brigade, Light Division.
Captain R. H. FINNEY, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Return of Casualties in McGowan's brigade.*
Command. Killed. Wounded. Missing. Total.
1st South Carolina 12 88 4 104
1st South Carolina 20 91 2 113
12th South --- 2 --- 2
13th South 6 84 1 91
14th South 8 137 --- 145
Total 46 402 7 455
* Compiled from regimental reports; but see Guild's report, p. 807.