effect, with little loss, an enterprise of great hazard, against a superior force supported by artillery, when the least wavering or hesitation on our part would have been attended with great loss.’
At the evacuation of Yorktown
the night of May 3, 1862, the regiment, then incorporated in General Early
's brigade, marched out of the works that they had held for more than a month, and, passing through Williamsburg
the next day, encamped a mile or two beyond.
The following morning, May 5th, the booming of cannon beyond Williamsburg
announced that McClellan
's advance had reached the Confederate
rear, and Early
's brigade was marched back through Williamsburg
, and during the afternoon advanced to the scene of action.
The Second Florida was taken to the Confederate
right and thrown into line of battle.
In this, their first general engagement, they advanced with the steadiness of veterans across an open field, under a heavy fire from the enemy.
On reaching the fallen timber where the enemy was posted, the regiment halted and opened fire.
It was here that the fatal bullet pierced the heart of Colonel Ward
and terminated the life of that gallant and heroic soldier and accomplished gentleman.
The enemy now showing strength on the Confederate
right, the regiment was ordered back across the field, where they were reformed by Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers
, ably assisted by Lieut. Seton Fleming
, acting adjutant
They were advanced to a position along an old line of fence, almost midway of the field.
The position of the regiment was soon after changed to face a flanking force of the enemy, and while in this position a party consisting of Captains Call
, Lieut. Seton Fleming
, Sergt. B. M. Burroughs
, Corporals D. E. Maxwell
and E. W. Burroughs
, with a guard of five or six men under Capt. E. A. Perry
, advanced to the front for the purpose of recovering the body of Colonel Ward
, which was lying where it fell, between the lines of the contending armies.
Despite a steady