Lt. Colonel Patrick Kelly's
Fair Oaks Report
OAKS STATION, VA.,
Having the honor of commanding the Eighty-eighth Regiment New York State
Volunteers since 23d 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 them in conducting them to where I was then hotly
engaged and where they were much needed.
was done by the Eighty-eighth on the occasion above referred to they
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 name
of Lieut. T. King, than whom no braver soldier stood on that field. He
survived his wounds some thirty-six hours. Also Lieut. Edward P.
O'Connor dangerously wounded, and for whose recovery there is every
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,
Col., Comdg. 88th Regt. N.Y. S. Vols., Irish Brig.
Capt. JOSEPH S. McCOY.
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