Excerpted from
"War of the Rebellion:  A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate
Armies, Series I, Vol. 11, Part I - Reports"
Government Printing Office, Washington, 1884

Report of Col. W. Raymond Lee, Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry

Camp near Fair Oaks Station, June 3, 1862

Lieutenant:  I have the honor to report for the information of Brig. Gen. N. J. T. Dana, commanding brigade, of Sedgwick's
division, the operations of my regiment (the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers) in connection with the combats with the
insurgent forces on the 31st ultimo and 1st instant:

On the afternoon of the 31st ultimo I received your orders to get my regiment under arms for immediate movement in light
marching order, with one day's rations and 60 rounds of ammunition per man.  These orders were at once executed, and at
4 p.m. the regiment moved with the division as the rear battalion.  Heavy firing in front was then audible.  After crossing the
Chickahominy River I received orders to take the advance of the New York Forty-second and to move forward with the
greatest possible celerity.  Between 5:30 and 6 o'clock p.m. the rifles were loaded by an order from Staff Officer Pierson,
and the march was continued at quick-step, soon changed to double-quick, at which step we came onto the battle-field a
few minutes before 6 p.m.

At this time our forces were fairly engaged with those of the enemy, the artillery and infantry both being in action.  The
regiment came under fire, losing 2 or 3 men, immediately upon filing from the road onto the field of action just in the rear of
our line of battle.  Conducted by a brigade staff officer we proceeded to the left, where the battalion came into line of battle,
forming on the right of the Michigan Seventh, which, with our own regiment, was the only portion of the brigade engaged on
that day.  the enemy's right was immediately in our front and we opened fire upon it.  In a few minutes, in obedience to
orders from General Dana, the two regiments-those of his brigade-moved rapidly forward to a ridge of the ground on which
we were operating; the enemy's line, its right only a short distance in front of our position, then came fully under view.  It
was curved, offering its concavity to our own line, and its extreme right was extended, considerably beyond our left, the
curve seeming to lap around us.  Moreover, it was formed in a slight valley offering great advantages-that is, a slight cover
for a firing party and, also, protection for a flank movement designed to turn our left, advantages which the enemy were
quick to avail of.

From the ridge of ground above referred to we opened a rapid and effective fire, maintained only a few moments, for the
enemy soon began to fall away, the wavering of their line being converted into a disorderly rout; when, in compliance with
the orders from General Dana, simultaneously with the infantry battalion on our right and the Michigan Seventh on our left,
the line rushed forward with loud cheers.  So far as I know the enemy did not stop in their hasty retreat to fire a shot, but
sought the cover of the woodland on our left adjacent to the railroad.  They partially rallied and reformed upon gaining the
cover of the woods, maintaining for a few moments an ill-directed fire, and attempting, I think, to turn the left, made futile by
a slight change of front to the left, executed by the Michigan Seventh and the left wing of our own regiment.

It was now getting dark and the enemy soon ceased firing, seemingly retiring.  We occupied the field on which we halted
after the last movement to the front all night under arms, engaged mainly in securing prisoners and collecting and providing
as we best could for the enemy's wounded, who were numerous, and scattered on the field around us.  Among the latter
were Brigadier-General Pettigrew, of South Carolina, and Lieutenant-Colonel Bull, of Georgia.  I am happy to record that the
men of my regiment cheerfully gave up their blankets and rations to these wounded unfortunates who had thus come under
our care.

On the morning of June 1, soon after the attack of the enemy on our center and left commenced, we took position on the
right of our general center, as a part, I presume, of the reserve.  With slight changes in our position, to conform to and meet
the threatened movements of the enemy, the regiment remained under arms all the day and night of June 1.

Our burying party reports 13 of the enemy's dead collected on the field in front and on left of our last position after the
action of May 31.  Twenty-six wounded of the enemy were also collected and put under the care of Dr. E. H. R. Revere, our
assistant regimental surgeon, for treatment.  Seven unhurt prisoners were captured on the evening of May 31 and sent to
headquarters.  We also collected on the field of battle after the action of May 31 112 muskets and rifles, one box of fixed
ammunition, and some other articles of public property, all of which property has been duly turned over to a proper

I enclose a list of casualties (paper A)-2 killed and 18 wounded-the result of the operations of May 31-June 1.

I have great pleasure in reporting that the officers and men of the regiment performed all their appropriate and respective
duties with cheerfulness and propriety.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. Raymond Lee,
Colonel Twentieth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers

Lieut. E. P. Bishop, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General  
Battle of Seven Pines Index