Brig. Gen. Lysander Cutler, U.S. Army, Commanding Second Brigade.
APRIL 27-MAY 6, 1863.--The Chancellorsville Campaign.
O.R.-- SERIES I--VOLUME XXV/1 [S# 39]
HDQRS. SECOND BRIG., FIRST DIV., FIRST ARMY CORPS,
May 10, 1863.
Capt. T. E. ELLSWORTH,
Aide-de-Camp and Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report in relation to this command during the recent operations of the army against the enemy:
On the 28th ultimo, by orders from the general commanding the division, I broke camp at Belle Plain, and at 12 m. marched in the direction of the river, near the Fitzhugh house. Encamped in the woods 2 miles from the river.
At 1 a.m., on the 29th, moved forward to the river, arriving in the vicinity of the ferry at daylight, where I halted, deploying one regiment (the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania) as skirmishers to cover the movements of the Fourth Brigade in endeavoring to lay the pontoon bridges. Here the Fifty-sixth lost 2 killed and 8 wounded.
At about 10 o'clock the Fourth Brigade was sent across in boats, and cleared the rifle-pits of the enemy. My command at once moved the bridges down to the river, and in a very short time had them laid, when I moved my brigade over to the support of the Fourth Brigade, taking my position as ordered, my right resting near the Pratt house, my left extending toward the First Brigade, the Third Brigade, Brigadier-General Paul, in my crossing, where it was soon joined by the rear.
This position was maintained by me with no material change, except to throw up intrenchments for the protection of the men, until the morning of May 2, when, by orders, we withdrew from the trenches, and, under cover of the river bank, moved up to Sedgwick's bridges and joined the division on the road leading to Falmouth, when we took up the line of march for the United States Ford, in the vicinity of which we halted at 7.30 p.m.
Early the next morning we crossed the river, and moved forward to join the army near Chancellorsville. Arrived during the engagement of the Third Corps, and was immediately ordered into line as a support to General Sykes' Regulars, then holding the road from Chancellorsville to the Rapidan.
My position alternated between that and the trenches until the evening of the 5th, when I was ordered to the right, as a support to the batteries, and was subsequently directed to cover the retreat of the right of the army across the Rappahannock on the morning of the 6th instant, which duty I performed.
The several regiments of this brigade behaved with great coolness during the time they were under fire from the enemy's batteries, on April 29 and 30 and May 1 and 2, and were at all times ready and eager to be led into action. The One hundred and forty-seventh New York Volunteers were under fire for the first time, and behaved with the coolness of veterans. The Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers was the only regiment under musketry fire to any extent. The artillery fire, however, to which they were subjected, and to which they could not reply, was quite as trying to the courage of the men. The men behaved with perfect coolness, and satisfied me that they can be trusted at all times.
The casualties have heretofore been reported, and amounted in the aggregate to 3 officers and 30 men killed and wounded.
I am under special obligation to the officers of the command for the manner in which they kept their commands closed up on the march--a roll-call on coming into camp on the 7th instant showing only about 20 men improperly absent.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Second Brigade.
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