General Baxter. In compliance with said order I directed the brigade to deploy on the first battalion, but before the movement was completed two regiments only, to wit, the Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers being in line, the Ninety-first New York being treated as three battalions, not yet having time to deploy, I was ordered to deploy the two Wisconsin regiments and arrest the troops belonging to the front line, consisting of a portion of the Second Division, who were flying in confusion from the field. This order I found myself unable to execute, the men breaking through my line and throwing my own command into confusion. I then ordered the Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin to close their intervals, and formed them into line of battle, and directed them to open fire, and sent orders to the Ninety-first to deploy on second battalion (the Sixth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers). Both of these orders were promptly executed. The brigade remained thus in line of battle, firing rapidly upon the advancing enemy until both flanks were turned and the enemy firing upon both flanks and rear of the command. I then directed Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, Seventh Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers, to change front, so as to meet the fire on his flank, which was executed, but the enemy appearing in so large force in my rear, I directed the brigade to retire across Gravelly Run in as good order as possible. In retiring to this position my command was somewhat broken up, owing to the fact that the enemy was in their rear, compelling them to fight their way back. I claim that my command were the last organized troops to leave the field.
The Sixth and Seventh Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers were formed as they arrived on the front line next to the creek, near the bridge crossed by the troops in the morning. The Ninety-first New York Volunteers fell back across the creek farther to the right. One battalion, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Denslow, formed in an interval between the troops of the Second Division, where they remained the balance of the engagement, doing good service. When the firing had ceased I reformed the brigade in the rear of their first position and ordered them to lie down. We remained in this position about one hour, were then again moved to the front across the battle-field of the morning, and went into camp about half a mile in advance of the same.
The following-named officers are entitled to special mention for gallantry, viz: Colonel Tarbell and Lieutenant-Colonel Denslow, Ninety-first New York Veteran Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Kerr, commanding Sixth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers, who was badly wounded while cheering on his men; Lieutenant-Colonel Richardson, commanding Seventh Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers; also First Lieutenant J. A. Watrous, acting assistant adjutant-general, Second Lieutenant C. W. Atherton, acting aide-de-camp, and Captain H. T. Garfield, brigade inspector, members of my staff. The conduct of these officers came under my immediate notice. Lieutenant Watrous was wounded and taken prisoner while discharging his duty. Lieutenant Athereton and Lieutenant Watrous each lost a horse, shot under them, which, with the horse of the orderly, make three horses lost from my headquarters on that day by the fire of the enemy.
My two orderlies, William Holloway, Company K, and Henry A. Hackett, Company H, both of the Sixth Wisconsin Veteran Volunteers, behaved in the most gallant manner, Holloway having his horse shot under him.