At 1.30 o'clock, within 3 1/2 miles of the battle-field, I halted my column to rest for the first time and to get the lengthened files in hand before committing them to action. Captain Moses, of the general's staff, with great energy assisted me in this effort. Almost immediately, however, on orders from General Heintzelman, our knapsacks were piled and the head of the column resumed its march, taking the double-quick wherever the mud-holes let a footing.
Arrived at 1 mile from the engagement, you in person brought me an order for detaching three regiments, one from Berry's, the leading brigade, and two from Birney's, the second,to support Emory's Horse to the left of the position. Approaching nearer the field, word was brought by an aide-de-camp that Hooker's cartridges were expended, and with increased rapidity we entered under fire. Having quickly consulted with General Hooker, and received General Heintzelman's orders as to the point of onset, I at once deployed Berry's brigade on the left of the Williamsburg road and Birney's on the right of it, taking, to cover their movements and to support the remaining battery that had ceased to fire, two companies of Poe's regiment. As our troops came into action the remnants of the brave men of Hooker's division were passed, and our regiments promptly commenced an unremitting well-delivered fire. However, from the lengthening of the files, the gap occasioned by the withdrawal from the column of three regiments, and the silence of this battery, I was soon left no alternative than to lead forward to the charge the two companies of the Michigan Volunteers to bear back the enemy's skirmishers, now crowding on our pieces. This duty was performed by officers and men with superior intrepidity, and enabled Major Wainwright, of Hooker's division, to collect his artillerists and reopen fire from several pieces. A new support was then collected from the Fifth New Jersey, who, terribly decimated previously, again came forward with alacrity.
The affair was now fully and successfully engaged along our whole line, and the regiments kept steadily gaining ground, but he heavy-strewn timber of the abatis defied all direct approach. Introducing, therefore, fresh marksmen from Poe's regiment, I ordered Colonel Hobart Ward, with the Thirty-eight New York (Scott Life Guard),to charge down the road and take the rifles pits in the center of the abatis by their flank. This duty Colonel Ward performed with great gallantry, and by his martial demeanor imparted all confidence in the attack. Still, the wave of impulsion, though nearly successful, did not quite prevail, but with bravery every point thus gained was fully sustained. The left wing of Colonel Riley's regiment, the Fortieth New York (the Mozart), was next sent for, and, the colonel being valiantly engaged in front, came up, brilliantly conducted by Captain G. W.
Mindil, chief of General Birney's staff. These charged up to the open space, silenced some light artillery, and gaining the enemy's rear, caused him to relinquish his cover. The victory was ours.
About this period General Jameson brought up the rear brigade and the detached regiments, having previously reported them in the midst of a severe fire; a second line was established, and two columns of regiments made disposable for further moves. But darkness, with the still drizzly rain, now closed, and the regiments bivouacked on the field they had won. The reconnaissance during the night and the early patrols of the morning revealed the enemy retiring, and General Haintzelman in person ordered into the enemy's works (which our pickets of the One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania, under Lieutenant J. L. Gilbert, were entering