had been occupied as a hospital by King's division during the severe engagement of the evening before. In this lay thirty-eight wounded. While preparing to send these to the rear, I was ordered by the general to retire. My men had made a most spirited dash upon the ambuscaded foe, rushing upon them with the bayonet, determined to find what was not open to their aim. I succeeded in bringing off my own killed and wounded and rejoined the brigade in its position farther to the left.
On the morning of the 30th I was ordered by General Meade to advance my command deployed as skirmishers over the ground occupied by Hatch's brigade during the battle of the evening before, and gather up the wounded left on the field. I pushed the line forward to the crest of the hill beyond, and there engaged the enemy's skirmishers, receiving also the fire of his batteries. All the wounded, numbering between twenty and thirty, were sent to the rear. After holding this position for several hours General Reynolds directed me to move forward and drive back the sharpshooters that were delivering a galling fire from concealed position in our front. The Fifth Regiment of our division was deployed in extension of our line to the left, and supported by the Second and Third Regiments I advanced rapidly, gaining the enemy's position and pouring a destructive fire into his retreating line. From this point the enemy was seen massing his forces for an attack upon our left flank, and being already enfiladed by a battery, the line retired to its original position. Owing to the exposure of my men to a sharp fire from well-armed marksmen securely posted several casualties occurred, but all the wounded were brought safely to the rear. I was recalled from this position in time to participate with the rest of the command in the general engagement of the day. My regiment, although much reduced by four companies under Lieutenant-Colonel Kane being detached on duty guarding the wagon train and worn down by the fatigue of the three preceding engagements, entered into action with unabated spirit. Our positions was on the right of the First Brigade, immediately under the notice of General Meade, when the Reserves made their splendid charge upon the enemy, and it would be superfluous for me to state here how my command conducted itself. Two companies (D and E) were without a single commissioned officer, but by their steady self-reliance they furnished a proof of the marked intelligence of the rank and file of the Union Army. I submit herewith Asst. Surg. William B. Jones' report (paper marked "B") of the killed, wounded, and missing during the recent engagements.*
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HUGH W. McNEIL,
Colonel, Commanding Rifles.
Captain EDWARD C. BAIRD,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade.
GROVETON, August 28, 1862.
Colonel H. W. McNEIL,
Commanding First Rifles:
About noon of the 28th instant, shortly after we had been deployed by your order as skirmishers on the Warrenton road at the point where the head of our column had been fired upon by the enemy's battery, I was ordered by General Reynolds to take the three companies then deployed upon the left of the road immediately in front of our battery,
*Embodied in table, VOL. XII, Part II, p. 256.