officers. Advancing in double-quick time to the right and front towards a dense woods, in which the enemy had been concealed in large force during the day, and from which evidences of retreat were now visible, my regiment, with detached portions of others of our force, became engaged in a sharp and spirited skirmish with the enemy's infantry and cavalry, and we appeared for a time to have complete possession of the field.
This was the last rally made by my regiment. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the enemy, re-enforced by fresh troops, literally swarming the woods, poured in upon us a perfect shower of lead from his musketry; his batteries reopened upon us with terrible effect, and a panic at this moment seeming to have taken possession of our troops generally, a retreat was ordered, and my regiment in comparatively good order commenced its march towards Centreville, where a greater portion of it arrived about 9 o'clock that night. Here, on the same ground that we had bivouacked previous to the battle, the regiment was halted. After a rest of about two hours it again resumed its march, joining in the general movement made by the Army towards this place. After a forced and wearisome march of seven hours, the men suffering from the great fatigue of the previous fifteen hours, without food for that length may of them wounded, sick, and otherwise disabled, my regiment, with the exception of about fifty who had straggled from their respective companies and joined the mass that were thronging to the capital, halted at its original camp-ground near Alexandria, the only regiment of the brigade that did so - the only regiment, in fact, that was under fire during the previous day that returned to and occupied their old camp-grounds previous to their advance towards the field of battle. It is with great pride, sir, that I mention this fact, evincing, as it emphatically does, a degree of subordination commendable in any regiment, and reflecting under the extraordinary circumstances connected with the occasion.
From the time my regiment was ordered in the field until forced to retire therefrom - a period of four hours - it was almost constantly under fire from the enemy's batteries and engaged with the infantry; and to your coolness and courage alone during that time, your frequent orders for the men to lie down when the enemy's fire was the hottest, and your constant efforts to protect them as far as possible at all times, was the regiment saved from presenting a larger number of casualties than its large list now shows.
Of the courage displayed by the men generally on the field during the entire day; of the readiness of the gallant fellows to obey at all times all orders, I cannot speak in too high terms or express in words my admiration. During all my experience in a former campaign and presence on many a battle-field, I have never witnessed greater bravery or more soldierly requisites than were displayed by the men of my own regiment during the entire battle.
The conduct of the officers generally I cannot speak too highly of. Always at their posts cheering on their men by their soldierly examples, and displaying marked gallantry under the trying circumstances, I acknowledge my inability to do them justice in words. Major Potter was disabled during he early part of the engagement while gallantry performing his duty, and subsequently fell into the hands of the enemy. The brave Captain McQuaide, while cheering on his men, fell from a severe