Report of Colonel Robert Nugent, Sixty-Ninth New York Infantry.
Hdqrs. Sixty-Ninth Regiment New York State Vols.,
Fair Oaks, Va., June 2, 1862.
Captain: In compliance with orders just received I have the honor to report that on Saturday last, May 31, my regiment left camp near Cold Harbor, and about midnight arrived in this neighborhood, and encamped on the scene of the battle of that day. After allowing my men a short repose, permitting them to sleep for two hours on their arms, I formed them in line of battle, awaiting for daylight and further instruction to proceed against the enemy, then supposed to be masked by the woods surrounding us. Early on that morning (about 7 clock a.m.) under orders from the brigadier-general, we formed in column of division at some distance from the woods, deployed, and at doublequick time advanced in line of battle to the immediate vicinity of the wood, where I halted my command and awaited future events. As my regiment was selected by General Richardson as the reserve of his division we were the last brought into action, and we were moved (about 8 o’clock) we marched by the left flank and took position on the line of railroad on the extreme right of the other infantry regiments engaged.
For nearly five minutes the Sixty-ninth remained in occupation of the railroad unmolested, when suddenly the enemy’s left wing opened a heavy fire from the woods, when I ordered them to fire, and the coolness and celerity with which
the order was executed deserved great commendation. Our fire was sustained with fearful consistency until the enemy was silenced, and by checking the advance of the rebels had, I am inclined to believe, a marked effect on the fortunes of the day. Our firing only ceased with the retreat of the enemy, leaving us in undisputed possession of the railroad, which we still hold.
Our casualties, considering the dangers to which we were exposed, are very few-1 killed, 7 severely wounded, 5 slightly wounded, and 1 missing. Every officer and man present performed his duty on the eventful 1st of June with
cheerfulness and pleasure, and where men only seemed desirous of emulating each other in bravery I find it impossible to name any one as more courageous or prompt than another.
I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,
Colonel Sixty-ninth Regiment.
Captain Joseph S. McCoy,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Irish Brigade.