and 11 o'clock I was joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Ward with the remainder of my regiment, making, in all, a force of 625 men, with 28 officers, from my regiment, as reported to me by the adjutant, many of the men of the regiment being at this time on other duty.
About 12 o'clock it was reported to me a force was made on my left by a body of infantry concealed in the woods and upon the skirmishers in front by a body of cavalry. The fire of the enemy was resolutely returned by the regiment, which maintained its ground with entire determination. Re-enforcements not yet having arrived, and the attempts of the enemy outflank us being bey vigorous, I directed the regiment to retire about 60 paces into an open space in the wood, and prepare to receive any attack might be made, while I called in my skirmishers. When this was done I returned to the bluff, where Colonel Baker had already arrived. This was at 2.15 p. m. He directed me to form my regiment at the right of the position he proposed to occupy, which was done by eighth companies, the center and left being composed of a detachment of the Twentieth Massachusetts, numbering about 300 men, under command of Colonel Lee. A battalion of the California regiment, numbering about 600 men, Lieutenant-Colonel Wistar commanding; 2 howitzers, commanded by Lieutenant French, and a 6-pounder, commanded by Lieutenant Bramhall, were planted in front, supported by Company D, Captain Studley, and Company F, Captain Sloan, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts.
The enemy soon appeared in force, and, after sharp skirmishing on the right, directed his attack upon our whole line, but more particularly upon our center and left, where it was gallantly met by the Twentieth Massachusetts and the California battalion. Skirmishing during all the action was very server on the right, but the skirmishers of the enemy were resolutely repulsed by our own, composed of Companies A and I, Captains Rockwood and Joslin, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts, and Company -, of the Twentieth Massachusetts, under the direction of Major Kimbal, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts.
The action commenced about 3 p.m ., and at about 4 p. m. I was ordered to detach two companies from the left of my regiment to the support of the left of the line, and to draw in proportionately the right flank, which was done, Companies G and H, Captains Forehand and Philbrick, being detached for that purpose. By this time it had become painfully evident, by the volume and rapidity of the enemy's fire and the persistency of his attacks, that he was in much larger force than we. The two howitzers were silent and the 6-pounder also. Their commander came form the field wounded.
Soon after I was called from the right of my regiment, there being at this time a comparative cessation of the enemy's fire, to the center of the line, and learned for the first time that Colonel Baker had been killed, and that Lieutenant-Colonel Ward, of the Fifteenth Massachusetts, had been carried from the field severely wounded. Colonel Lee supposing it his duty to take command, I reported myself ready to execute his orders. He express his opinion that the only thing to be done was to retreat to the river, and that the battle was utterly lost. It soon appeared that Colonel cogswell was entitled to the command, who expressed his determination to make the attempt to cut our way to Edwards Ferry, and ordered me, as a preliminary movement, to form the Fifteenth Regiment in line towards the left. The Fifteenth Regiment accordingly moved across from the right to the left of the original line. Two or three companies of the Tammany New York regiment, just then