enemy's forces. The Second Rhode Island Regiment of Volunteers had steadily borne the enemy's attack, and had bravely stood its ground, even compelling him to give way. At this time Colonel Slocum fell mortally wounded, and soon after Major Ballou was very severely injured by a cannon ball, that killed his horse and crushed one of his legs. The regiment, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wheaton, continued gallantly to hold its position.
Soon after, Colonel Martin, of the Seventy-first Regiment New York State Militia, led his regiment into action, and planting the two howitzers belonging to the regiment upon the right of his line, worked them most effectively against the enemy's troops. The battery of the Second Rhode Island Regiment, on the knoll upon the extreme right, was used in silencing the heavy masked battery of the enemy in front, occasionally throwing in shot and shell upon the enemy's infantry, six regiments of which were attempting to force our position. Captain Reynolds, who was in command of this battery, served it with great coolness, precision, and skill.
The Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers, under Colonel Marston, was now brought into the field, and rendered great service in defending the position. Colonel Marston was wounded early in the action, and Lieutenant-Colonel Fiske ably directed the advance of the regiment.
Thus my whole brigade was brought into the engagement at the earliest possible moment, and succeeded in compelling the enemy to retire. We were wholly without support, bearing the brunt of the contest, until relieved by Major Sykes, of the Third [Fourteenth] Infantry, U. S. Army, who formed his battalion most admirably in front of the enemy, and pouring in a destructive fire upon his lines, assisted in staggering him. At that moment, after the fight had continued an hour or more, Colonel Heintzelman's division was seen marching over the hill opposite our left flank, and attacking the enemy at that point, the opposing force was soon dispersed. This point being gained, and the enemy retiring in confusion before the successful charge of Colonel Heintzelman's division, I withdrew my brigade into the woods in rear of the line, for the purpose of supplying the troops with ammunition, which had become well nigh exhausted. The Second Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers was sent forward to assist one of Colonel Heintzelman's brigades, at that time three-quarters of a mile distant, and driving the enemy before them. The battery of the Second Rhode Island Volunteers changed its position into a field upon the right, and was brought to bear upon the force which Colonel Porter was engaging. The enemy's infantry having fallen back, two sections of Captain Reynolds' battery advanced, and succeeded in breaking the charge of the enemy's cavalry, which had now been brought into the engagement.
It was nearly 4 o'clock p.m., and the battle had continued for almost six hours since the time when the Second Brigade had been engaged, with everything in favor of our troops and promising a decisive victory, when some of the regiments engaging the enemy upon the extreme right of our line broke, and large numbers passed disorderly by my brigade, then drawn up in the position which they last held. The ammunition had been issued in part when I was ordered to protect the retreat. The Seventy-first Regiment New York State Militia was formed between the retreating columns and the enemy by Colonel Martin, and the Second Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers by Lieutenant-Colonel Wheaton. The First Regiment Rhode Island Volunteers moved out into the field at the bottom of the gorge near the ford, and remained for fifteen minutes,