Brigadier-General Pierce's orders.
Headquarters, Camp Hamilton, June 9, 1861.General orders, No. 12.--A plan of attack to-night is herewith enclosed and forwarded to Col. Duryea, commanding 5th regiment N. Y. State troops, who will act accordingly. Col. Townsend, commanding 3d regiment. N. Y. State troops, will march his command in support of Col. Duryea. Col. Carr, commanding 2d regiment New York volunteers, will detach the artillery company of his regiment, with their field-pieces, caissons, and a suitable supply of ammunition, and take their position at the burnt bridge, near Hampton. Cols. Allen, Carr, and McChesney will hold their entire command in readiness, fully prepared to march at a moment's notice. All the troops will be supplied with one day's rations, and each man with twenty rounds of ball cartridge. That no mistake may be made, all the troops, as they charge the enemy, will shout--“Boston.” Cols. Allen, Carr, Townsend, Duryea, and McChesney will take notice and act accordingly. By command of
Col. Duryea's report.
Bethel. The first two miles to Hampton Bridge, we proceeded leisurely along, waiting for the howitzer, which should be placed at the head of the advancing column. Arriving at Hampton Creek, much delay was occasioned by the non-arrival of the surf-boats, which were to convey the regiment across the river, and it was ten o'clock before the column was formed, ready to push forward upon the other side. We now advanced rapidly, and soon came up with our two companies of skirmishers, under Captains Bartlett and Kilpatrick, who had been despatched ahead an hour and a half previous. Proceeding steadily on without resting a moment, we came, about four o'clock in the morning, to Little Bethel, a distance of about thirteen miles. At this point we discovered and surprised the picket guard of the enemy, and a mounted officer, with four or five foot, were taken prisoners. While pushing forward towards Big Bethel we suddenly heard a heavy fire of musketry and cannon in our rear, bespeaking a severe engagement. Supposing it to be an attempt of the enemy to cut off our reserve, we immediately countermarched in quick and double-quick time, when, having proceeded about five miles, we came upon two of our regiments, and learned that in the darkness of the night they had mistaken each other for enemies, and that an unfortunate engagement, accompanied with some loss, had taken place. We then by your command returned, and advanced upon Great Bethel, being supported by the Seventh Regiment, under Colonel Bendix, and the Third, under Col. Townsend. Proceeding to within a mile of County Bridge, the column halted, Capts. Kilpatrick and Bartlett having discovered that the enemy were holding a strong position in the battery at the head of the road. We now drew up in line of battle on the right, at the skirts of the woods, and the artillery, two howitzers, and a brass six-pounder, were pushed some thirty rods up the road. At this point Lieut.-Col. Warren rode into the field and assumed his position in the regiment, and, from his previous knowledge of the ground, proved of invaluable assistance. Capts. Winslow, Bartlett, and Kilpatrick having been ordered to advance, under Lieut.-Col. Warren, as skirmishers, the regiment was formed on the left, from whence I led the column in person up the road toward the enemy's battery; but the fire proving very destructive, we marched in good order till we were covered by the woods on the right, where we halted for some time for rest, and in order to complete the preparations for charging the batteries in flank. In the mean time, Lieut.-Col. Warren made a reconnoissance and reported a plan of attack. I then led off the troops to the left, in the open field, and also to the right, supported on the right by the German Rifles. After several attempts to charge the batteries, being prevented by the creek, we withdrew, by your command, to the rear, and having collected our killed and wounded, such as we could find, proceeded down the main road. Lieut.-Col. Warren, however, with a small detachment, remained and brought away the body of Lieut. Greble, with the field-piece he was serving with such effect at the time of his death. Our chaplain also remained to care for the wounded, but being cut off by a company of cavalry, he only escaped by taking to the woods, and escaping under cover of the night. We continued our march toward Hampton, and reached the bridge, having only four killed, twelve wounded, and two missing. The following names deserve an honorable mention:--Lieut.-Col. Warren, for his aid in forming the plan of attack, and remaining among the last to bring away a brother officer; also Chaplain Winslow, for his many kind attentions to the wounded; also Captains Bartlett, Kilpatrick and Winslow for the effective manner in which they skirmished before the enemy's heavy fire; also, Lieut. J. Duryea, who led the charge up to the left flank of the batteries; also, Lieuts. York and Cambreling; Surgeon Gilbert for performing upon the field of battle successful amputations and for his continued attention to the suffering and wounded, not only on the field, but afterward at the hospital, when almost exhausted; also, Lieut.