Today in History:

95 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


left wing. The Third New York, under Lieutenant-Colonel Floyd, gallantly advanced and drove the enemy from this position, and formed line on the right of the Forty-eighth New York, forming the right of Barton's brigade, the One hundred and forty-second New York advancing in support of the Third New York, formed on its right, closing again my line with General Brooks. Feeling the importance of keeping my connection with General Brooks, lest the enemy should throw himself in between us, I withdrew a regiment (the One hundred and seventeenth New York) from the left of my line, and held it in reserve on my right, immediately sending word to General Gillmore what I had done. Shortly after this I received an order from General Gillmore to push everything to the right and attack the enemy, who were engaging Smith on his flank. Before disposition could be made for this the enemy charged my line on the left of Barton's brigade. The Sixth Connecticut Regiment, posted here, broke and fled, carrying with it part of the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania, and the enemy succeeded in reaching our lines and making some prisoners. But met in front by the Fortieth Massachusetts, under Colonel Henry, and on the flank by the Forty-seventh New York, Lieutenant-Colonel MacDonald, also by the head of General Terry's division, which was then coming up to the rear of my left, and the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania being rallied by Major Eddy, Forty-seventh New York Volunteers, of my staff, they poured in a volley which soon drove the enemy back in disorder, leaving all their prisoners.

While staying the progress of the enemy at this point, a further movement of General Brooks to the right had exposed a large gap, extending into the woods on my right, into which the enemy immediately thrust himself and threatened the capture of the One hundred and forty-second New York. Receiving instructions at this juncture, about 10 o'clock, from Major-General Gillmore to fall back and take the road leading from the left of our position to the turnpike, my line was withdrawn and formed in rear of General Terry's division. The One hundred and forty-second New York was happily extricated by its commander, Colonel Curtis, under a severe front and flank fire. I subsequently marched my division and formed again to the right of the turnpike and rear of Proctor's Creek, and late in the afternoon retired to my camp within the intrenchments.

I am much indebted to my staff for the service they have rendered me during these operations, particularly during the engagement of the 16th. To Major Eddy is mainly due the rallying of the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania. Accompanying this is a brief report of my brigade commanders. As soon as copies are made, a list of casualties will be rendered. My loss for the five days amounts in the First Brigade to 42 killed, 259 wounded, and 83 missing; in the Second Brigade, 26 killed, 181 wounded, and 10 missing; making a grand total of 601 killed, wounded, and missing. The Sixth Connecticut, temporarily attached to the division, lost 82 killed, wounded, and missing.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Division.

Brigadier General R. S. FOSTER,

Chief of Staff, Tenth Army Corps.