Report of Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Kelly, Eighty-Eighth New York Infantry.
Fair Oaks Station, VA. June 2, 1862.
Captain: Having the honor of commanding the Eighty-eighth Regiment New York State Volunteers since 23rd of March last, and commanding them in the field at the battle of Fair Oaks Station on the 1st instant, it becomes my duty to report to you the action of the regiment since leaving our late camp near Cold Harbor, which we left about 3 o’clock p.m. on Saturday, 31st of May last, and arrived about 3 o’clock a.m. at Fair Oaks Station on the following morning, where the regiment slept under arms until daylight, when the regiment was again formed in line of battle ready to receive the enemy. By order of General Richardson, conveyed to me by one of his aides, I took the regiment across a belt of wood for the purpose of re-enforcing the ( I believe) Eighty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, who were reported nearly out of ammunition, and if not immediately relieved the result might be serious. On emerging from the wood I found I had only two companies, in consequence of the regiment having been halted while in the wood by a staff officer who did not convey the order to me, who was then marching at the head of my regiment. I with the two companies continued forward to the open space now occupied by Hazzard’s battery, and advanced them in line of battle toward the railroad under a heavy fire. Shortly after the rest of the regiment came up; and here I would thank Captain McMahon, of General Meagher’s staff, for the assistance he rendered where they were much needed.
What was done by the Eighty-eighth on the occasion above referred to I leave to others to say. With regard to the conduct of the officers and men during the engagement there can be no distinction made in either, each and all having discharged their duties to my entire satisfaction. I should mention the surgeons of the regiment did most nobly. In the hottest of the action they were to be found in the field attending to the wounded. Nor should I forget to mention a drummer-boy named George Funk, who acted most heroically during the engagement, and who followed closely on the track of the retreating rebels, bringing in a prisoner, whom he delivered to General Sumner. Annexed will be found a list of the killed and wounded, amongst whom I sincerely regret to mention the same of Lieutenant T. King, than whom no braver soldier stood on that field. He survived his wounds some thirty-six hours. Also Lieutenant Edward P. O’Connor dangerously wounded, and for whose recovery there is every hope.
Commissioned officers killed, 1; wounded, 1; non-commissioned officers and privates killed, 5; wounded, 18. Total killed, 6; wounded, 19; aggregate, 25.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
I am, Captain, respectfully, yours,
Lieutenant Colonel , Commanding 88th Regiment N. Y. S. Vols., Irish Brigade
Captain Joseph S. McCoy.