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GENERAL NEILL'S REPORT.

319

Whilst waiting to get the road, the enemy attacked the left of my picket line, held by the Forty-ninth New York. The Forty-ninth repulsed them, and held their ground.

On the morning of the third, Sunday, at about 10 o'clock, I was ordered to form three Regiments as the advance of a column of assault against the Heights on Marye's Hill, back of Fredericksburg. I led the Thirty-third New York, Twenty-first New Jersey, and Seventh Maine Volunteers, preceded by the Seventy-seventh New York, who were acting as skirmishers, under a heavy fire of shot and shell. Before reaching the batteries on the hill against which we were directed, I found they had already been taken by our troops on our right, and I directed the attack against the batteries on the hills to our left, along the Richmond road. We took in succession four distinct detached earth-works of strong profile. We captured three pieces of artillery — two long brass guns and one short howitzer — and one stand of colors, belonging to the Eighteenth Mississippi Regiment, after which we marched to assist in repelling an attack of the enemy along the Chancellorsville road.

On the morning of the fourth of May, the enemy attempted to turn our rear, when I led four Regiments of my Brigade back towards Fredericksburg, and checked them. I must not omit to mention, on the morning of the fourth a Brigade of rebels advanced to take an earthwork near the Plank Road, which was then occupied by our troops ;

320

CONDUCT OF HIS REGIMENTS.

when two companies of the Forty-ninth New York, and one company of the Seventh Maine, supported by the Forty-ninth New York, in conjunction with two pieces of Lieutenant Martin's battery, entirely routed the whole Brigade and the three companies of infantry aforementioned, captured 200 prisoners, and the colors of a rebel regiment, the Fifty-eighth Virginia.

On the evening of the fourth of May, about 5 o'clock, the whole of Longstreet's Corps came up the Richmond Road, as reinforcements, attacking my right and front, massing large numbers of his infantry in the ravines which were held by their troops. After losing about one thousand men, I was obliged to retire, my Regiments being unable to cope with the overpowering numbers of the enemy, and fearful, lest in the position I then held, they would be captured by the enemy piercing our lines in rear, between us and “Banks' Ford.” In the assault, the Twentieth New York Volunteers broke and went to the rear. I could not rally them. The other Regiments stood their ground nobly, under a murderous fire, and by their stubborn resistance at that time, I believe the Sixth Corps was enabled to eventually re-cross the Rapahannock at Banks' Ford, in the night.

Colonel Van Houten, Twenty-first New Jersey Volunteers, was wounded on the field of the battle, and I regret to say, died a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, from wounds received in battle.

I cannot close my report without making free and

HONORABLE MENTIONS.

321

sincere acknowledgments to the brave officers and men of the various Regiments of my command, who encountered the enemy at these two different battles; and would especially mention the great assistance rendered by the gallant efforts of my Assistant Adjutant General, Captain Wm. H. Long, of the Assistant Inspector General, Lieutenant Pryce W. Bailey, Thirty-third New York Volunteers; and of Lieutenants Wm. H. Alberts and Horace Binney, my Aids-de-Camp. The horses of both my Aids, and my own, were shot. With great respect,

THOMAS H. NEILL,

Brigadier General.

322

GOING HOME.

GOING HOME.

CHAPTER XXXIV.

Departure for Home.- Orations at Geneva and Canandagiua.

Tuesday, May 12th, Colonel Taylor brought the welcome intelligence to the Regiment, that they were to go home on the coming Friday. The order for their departure was accompanied by the following addresses from the Corps, Division, and Brigade Generals. HEADQUARTERS Sixth ARMY CORPS, I

May 13, 1863. Special Order No. 120.

5. The term of service of the Thirty-third New York Volunteers having expired, they will proceed at once to Elinira, New York, the place of enrolment, where they will be mustered out of the service. Upon their arrival there, their arms, equipments and public property will be turned in to the proper officers. The Quartermaster's Department will furnish transportation from Falmouth.

The General commanding the Corps congratulates the officers and men of the Thirty-third New York Volunteers upon their honorable return to civil life. They have enjoyed the respect and confidence of their companions and commanders; they have illustrated their term of service by gallant deeds,

CONGRATULATORY ADDRESS.

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and have won for themselves a reputation not surpassed in the Army of the Potomac, and have nobly earned the gratitude of the Republic. By Command of

MAJOR GENERAL SEDGWICK.

(Signed,) M. T. McMahon,

Assistant Adjutant General.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION,

Sixth CORPS, May 14th, 1863. } General Orders No. 26.

By the rules of enlistment, the term of service of the Thirty-third Regiment New York Volunteers expires to-day, and they are entitled to an honorable discharge from the service of the United States. Yet the General Commanding the Division cannot let this Regiment depart without expressing his regret at their leaving, and hopes that they will speedily re-organize and join this command, to serve their country once more and to the end of this war, with the same spirit as they have served for the last two years. To say that this Regiment, in camp, on the march, and in all the many hard battles in which they were engaged, have done their duty and behaved gallantly, is but a weak expression of the acknowledgment of their good services. They have earned for themselves the approbation and confidence of

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