line who had expended all their cartridges, the relieved regiments coming out and filling their boxes again. Sixty rounds had now been fired per man, and the battle was supposed to be ended. Hardly was this effected, however, when the enemy's column, being reenforced by the reserve, gave a general shout, and again advanced to the attack. This time I threw into action in support the Irish regiments of Gen. Meagher's brigade, reserving some of the first, which had been much shattered in the early part of the conflict, and our steady fire was continued about one hour more, until the enemy again fell back. Their retreat this time was more precipitate than before, and three of the Parrott guns, which I had just placed in a new position, now opened their fire and did what they could to hurry up the retreat. The enemy did not see fit to renew the attack, and from the account given by prisoners and deserters, they must have been badly beaten. Generals Howard and French could not have been excelled in their dispositions of the different forces under their command, the direction of their fire, and in the moral effect they produced upon their men, and resolute demeanor in cheering and urging them on. The former lost his arm, had two of his staff wounded, and the latter his Adjutant-General wounded. The staff of all the general officers behaved well, but I would particularly mention the conduct and coolness of Capt. Fiske, Lieut. Plumer, and Lieut. French, of General French's staff; also of Capt. Sewall, Lieuts. Howard, Scott, and Milles, of General Howard's staff. Capts. Hazard and Pettit, of the artillery, also deserve particular mention for the commendable manner in which they served the artillery. Of my own staff, I would also speak in the highest terms, both for coolness under fire and for promptitude and conciseness in delivering my orders on the field. My Adjutant-General, Capt. Nowell, my two aids, Lieuts. Draper and Hurlbut, Capt. McMahon and Lieut. Miller, volunteer aids, and Capt. Fuller, Division Commissary, who volunteered his services on this occasion, all did able and efficient service. For myself I claim no other consideration than that of throwing in the reserve regiments at the right time and in the proper place. My force brought into action amounted to seven thousand men. I lost nine hundred killed and wounded. The enemy had fifty thousand. Every mounted officer in the division who took his horse into the woods had him shot under him. A singular circumstance occurred in this battle which deserves particular mention. The first regiment of the enemy which came into action wore blue clothes like our men, and as they came into action opposite the Eighty-first Pennsylvania regiment, Col. Miller, they said: “Do not fire; we are Owen's men.” Owen's regiment is one of Birney's brigade on my left. Col. Miller had his regiment at an aim, and now recovered arms. The enemy instantly poured in a deadly volley, by which Miller was killed. The left wing of the Eighty-first poured in their fire, by which that regiment fell in piles. The Colonel, Lieutenant-Colonel, Major, and Adjutant all fell; the balance of the regiment fell and broke. Yours truly,
I. B. Richardson, Brig.-General Commanding Division.
General McClellan to his army.
McClellan's headquarters, Tuesday Evening, June 3, 1862.The following address was read to the army this evening at dress-parade, and was received with an outburst of vociferous cheering from every regiment:
headquarters army of the Potomac, camp near New-Bridge, Va., June 2, 1862.Soldiers of the Army of the Potomac! I have fulfilled at least a part of my promise to you. You are now face to face with the rebels, who are held at bay in front of their capital. The final and decisive battle is at hand. Unless you belie your past history, the result cannot be for a moment doubtful. If the troops who labored so faithfully and fought so gallantly at Yorktown, and who so bravely won the hard fights at Williamsburgh, West-Point, Hanover Court-House, and Fair Oaks, now prove themselves worthy of their antecedents, the victory is surely ours. The events of every day prove your superiority. Wherever you have met the enemy you have beaten him. Wherever you have used the bayonet he has given way in panic and disorder. I ask of you now one last crowning effort. The enemy has staked his all on the issue of the coming battle. Let us meet him, crush him here, in the very centre of the rebellion. Soldiers! I will be with you in this battle, and share its dangers with you. Our confidence in each other is now founded upon the past. Let us strike the blow which is to restore peace and union to this distracted land. Upon your valor, discipline, and mutual confidence the result depends.George B. Mcclellan, Major-General Commanding.
Letter from General Gorman.
headquarters Gorman's brigade, Fair Oaks, near Richmond, Va., June 13, 1862.sir: Now that an opportunity offers, I cannot suffer it to pass without testifying to the brilliant conduct of your two regiments under my command, Thirty-fourth and Eighty-second N. Y. S. V., in the late terrible contest at this point on May thirty-first and June first. Their coolness and steadiness under a heavy and wasting fire, were unsurpassed by any regiments in the world; and it was their enviable fortune to make as gallant and victorious a charge with the bayonet as the annals of any State will ever bear witness to. It was made, too, not upon a weak and wavering foe, but upon the unbroken lines of the flower of the rebel army. New-York, and you, sir, her honored Executive, may well feel proud of such men. Official reports, soon, will do them greater honor than my limits will permit. I ask, in concluding, a prominent place in the history of the
His Excellency E. D. Morgan:
His Excellency E. D. Morgan: