their comrades in front. At the same moment they were charged by a company of secession cavalry on their rear, who came by a road through two strips of woods on our extreme right. The fire of the zouaves killed four and wounded one, dispersing them. The discomfiture of this cavalry was completed by a fire from Captain Colburn's company of U. S. cavalry, which killed and wounded several more. Colonel Fernham, with some of his officers and men, behaved gallantly,but the regiment, as a regiment, did not appear again on the field. Many of the men joined other regiments, and did good service as skirmishers.
I then led up the Minnesota regiment, which was also repulsed, but retired in tolerably good order. It did good service in the woods on our right flank, and was among the last to retire, coming off the field with the Third U. S. Infantry. Next was led forward the First Michigan which was also repulsed, and retired in considerable confusion. They were rallied, and helped to hold the woods on our right. The Brooklyn Fourteenth then appeared on the ground, coming forward in gallant style. I led them forward up to the left, where the Alabama regiment had been posted in the early part of the action, now disappeared. We soon came in sight of the line of the enemy, drawn up beyond the clump of trees. Soon after the firing commenced the regiment broke and ran. I considered it useless to attempt to rally them. The want of discipline in these regiments was so great, that the most of the men would run from fifty to several hundred yards to the rear and continue to fire - fortunately for the braver ones, very high in the air - compelling those in front to retreat. During this time Ricketts' battery had been taken and retaken three times by us, but was finally lost, most of the horses having been killed; Captain Ricketts being wounded, and First Lieutenant D. Ramsay killed. Lieutenant Kirby behaved with great gallantry, and succeeded in carrying off one caisson.
Before this time heavy re-enforcements were distinctly seen approaching by two roads, and outflanking us on the right. Colonel Howard's brigade came on the field at this time, having been detained by the general as a reserve at the point where we left the turnpike. It took post on a hill on our right and rear, and for some time gallantly held the enemy in check. I had one company of cavalry attached to my division, which was joined during the engagement by the cavalry of Colonel Hunter's division. Major Palmer, who commanded them, was anxious to engage the enemy. The ground being unfavorable, I ordered them back out of range of fire.
Finding it impossible to rally any of the regiments, we commenced our retreat about 4.30 p.m. There was a fine position a short distance in rear, where I hoped to make a stand with a section of Arnold's battery and the U. S. cavalry, if I could rally a few regiments of infantry. In this I utterly failed, and we continued our retreat on the road we had before advanced in the morning. I sent forward my staff officers to rally some troops beyond the run, but not a company would form. I stopped back a few moments at the hospital, to see what arrangements could to make to save the wounded. The few ambulances that were there were filled, and started to the rear. The church which was used as a hospital, with the wounded and some of the surgeons, soon after fell into the hands of the secession cavalry, who followed us closely. A company of cavalry crossed the run, and seized an ambulance full of wounded. Captain Arnold gave them a couple of rounds of canister form his section of artillery, which sent them scampering away, and kept them at a respectful distance during the remainder of our retreat.
At this point most of the stragglers were in advance of us. Having