large white house (Winston's) and the Third brigade and cavalry in advance of them when the order came to return to the assistance of their comrades. The Second Brigade immediately faced to the rear, and was led by Colonel McQuade at a rapid pace directly through the fields toward the point where the firing was heaviest, leaving the road clear for Griffin's battery.
A severe battle was evidently raging in the woods at the lower end of the wheat field and the open fields beyond, the chief struggle being at the easterly corner of the woods, nearly opposite the junction of the roads. Griffin's battery was placed in the field to the left of the road, near the position that Benson's had occupied. The Fourteenth New york Volunteers (Lieutenant-Colonel Skillen) was led to the easterly corner of the woods, where the firing was heaviest, and there found General Martindale with the Second Maine resisting the principal attack of the rebels. The men were almost exhausted, their ammunition was nearly expended, yet they were manfully holding their ground against superior numbers, when the Fourteenth New york Volunteers came to their relief and took the fight off their hands. And it was time, for the gunners had been driven from their pieces, the remnant of the Twenty-fifth New York had broken and been reformed at a distance to the rear, and the right wing, of the Forty-fourth New york had given way. It was the turning point of the fight. The Second Maine with drew, the Fourteenth New York Volunteers opened fire, and the enemy began to give way.
A few minutes later Berdan's Sharpshooters, the Sixty-second Pennsylvania, (Colonel Black), and Ninth Massachusetts (Colonel Cass), who had gone into the woods, gaining ground at the same time to the right, made themselves felt on their flank and rear, and they fled.
Griffin's battery moved forward, supported by the Thirteenth New York (Colonel Marshall), first to a position near Harris' house and then beyond Peake's Station to the right of the railroad, and the enemy were driven far into the woods.
The Third Brigade, being farther from the field than the Second, did not, with the exception of the Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers (Colonel McLane), arrive in time to take part in the action. This regiment, whit General Butterfield, returned by the railroad, and aided materially in securing prisoners. The Fourth Michigan (Colonel Woodbury) was held in reserve by General Porter. The Fifth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Duryea) came on the ground by the maine road just after the close of the action.
Darkness had now overtaken us, and our wearied soldiers bivouacked for the night, having been under arms since 3.30 o'clock in the morning, and marched at least 20 miles, party through rain and mud.
I inclose the reports of the commandants of brigades, regiments of brigades, regiments, and batteries, to which I beg leave to refer for detailed accounts of the operations of the several corps, and also for the casualties of the day.
On the 28th Colonel Gove, with his regiment, the Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, and a troop of the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry, made a satisfactory reconnaissance toward Richmond by way of the Ashland road, a report of which I also inclose.
On the 29th four companies of the Seventeenth New York Volunteers, under command of Captain Grower, marched 5 miles with the Sixth Cavalry and Benson's light artillery, burning a bridge. In the afternoon of the 29th the whole command returned to camp.
I am informed that the force opposed to us was the North Carolina brigade, commanded by General L. O'B. Branch, and composed of the