in the center, in front of the first bluff from the river, with the detachment of the Twentieth Massachusetts and a company of first Minnesota in support; the cavalry and Sixteenth Indiana Volunteers on the right, with the Thirtieth Pennsylvania in reserve; and the Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, Second New York State Militia, and First Minnesota on the left. The Andrew Sharpshooters were placed along a fence running from the Monroe house on the right to the wooded hill near the bridge on the left, which wooded hill was strengthened to 12 companies of infantry from the various regiments, all under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Lucas. These arrangements were rapidly made, but on sifting the information I was satisfied no advance had been made by the enemy, and allowed the troops to leave the lines, holding themselves in readiness to resume them at a moment's notice.
The scouting party towards Frankville returned, Lieutenant Pieve reporting that he had proceeded to a point near that village without meeting any of the enemy, but that from the first house of it a cavalry picket was seen. I immediately ordered a strong infantry picket to be stationed in the wood on the Frankville road at an advantageous point described by Lieutenant Pierce, with a cavalry partial beyond it to watch that road, and on the right sent out infantry pickets to occupy the woods in front of the Monroe house, watch the Leesburg road, and indicate by their firing any approach of the enemy in that direction. I at the same time reported to the major-general commanding the amount of re-enforcements which I deemed sufficient for holding the position.
At this time a new report was brought to me that the enemy were advancing in two heavy columns, one on the right and the other on the left. This report, although indistinct, came through official channels, and the line was again formed and report made to the major-general commanding, in order that re-enforcements might be in readiness to move over promptly to our support in case of attack. As it was impossible to ascertain to what extent the enemy had been re-enforced, and Colonel Woodbury, Engineer Corps, having just then arrived and reported for duty, I sent him with an escort of cavalry to the left front to reconnoiter, while I proceeded to the right to see that all was secure there.
Orders were sent to Lieutenant-Colonel Lucas to hold the wood and bridge on the left until the last moment, and if driven by overwhelming number from that position, to fall back along the left bank of Goose Creek and take up a position in rear of the Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers. Colonel Lucas was also directed to follow the advice of Colonel Lucas was also directed to follow the advice of Colonel Woodbury in rapidly strengthening his position by means of his axes.
The reconnaissance proved there was no near approach of the enemy, and all arrangements were made for holding the position for the night and receiving and posting re-enforcements, when I received from the major-general commanding, shortly after dark, orders to retire the whole force to the Maryland side of the river. Previously to the receipt of this order I had sent General Gorman to the Maryland side to facilitate the passage of the re-enforcements, and the was now charged with the duty of superintending the debarkation of our troops there and forwarding the empty boats with regularity and dispatch. The holding of the right of the line during the embarkation was instructed to Brigadier-General Abercrombie; the holding of the left to Colonel Dana, First Minnesota Volunteers. The advanced pickets and cavalry scout s were kept out and additional fires lighted, and while the Indiana Sixteenth, under the orders of General Abercrombie, held the line of the line of the bluff on the right,