These dispatches convinced me that the commanding general of the corps was acting under some great mistake and misinformation, and having failed to impress him by the dispatches I had sent, I started forward to see him personally. On turning the corner of roads at the junction of the route from New Bridge with the Richmond and Hanover road I met the commanding general of division and saw the Twenty-second Massaschusetts returning. I found that they had been ordered to return and march up the railroad. I objected to it, and proposed to the commanding general of the division to go forward to the commanding general of the corps and inform him in person of the force in rear and the danger to our line. The commanding general of division replied that I could communicate by an orderly, and should go up the railroad. Thereupon I dispatched an orderly with information to the commanding general of the corps, and ordered the Twenty-second Massachusetts to go through the woods to the railroad and follow it up, but asked to be permitted to assume the responsibility of remaining with the Second Maine Regiment to cover the battery and the column in rear. This was not forbidden, and I soon proceeded with the battery and the Second Maine. As a precaution, a mounted vedette was ordered to watch the enemy in our rear and porort any demonstration made against us. The regiment had scarcely turned the corner of the woods, marked D, when the commandant of the cavalry came forward and informed me that the skirmishes of the enemy were advancing, and had reached the house garden, and door-yard where my first battery had been planted. This was within 700 yards of the rear of my column. I immediately sent forward a notice of the fact to the commanding general of division,and asked for the return of the Twenty-second Massachusetts. Colonel Roberts immediately halted his regiment, the Second Maine, and changed front to the rear on its first company in perfect order. It was then marched in line of battle back across the road from New Bridge and halted. Skirmishers were immediately thrown forward.
At this time I saw a regiment, which proved to be the Forty-fourth New York, coming along the route from New Bridge, commanded by Colonel Stryker. I informed of the difficulty,and he placed his regiment under my orders. I directed it to be formed under cover of a ravine, faced southwesterly toward the woods on the left of the open ground in front, and to throw skirmishers into the woods. This was promptly executed. A section of Martin's battery shortly came along, and I directed it to be placed in battery on the left of the Second Maine Regiment. The skirmishers were already slightly engaged, and the battery opened fire. At his juncture it was reported to me that the hospital, where we had wounded men and sick, about a mile back on our route, was in possession of the rebels,and with much reluctance I sent one wing of the Forty-fourth New York to relieve it.
Scarcely had the left wing of this regiment been put in motion and passed from my sight when a regiment of the enemy deployed in line of battle in front of the garded and door-yard, and advanced toward the Second Maine. The Second Maine Regiment immediately fixed bayonetts. The enemy within about 450 yards and fired by battalion. they halted. The Second Maine Regiment and battery responded, and soon the enemy marched at a double-quick into the woods on my left, and where the skirmishers of the Forty-fourth New York had been sent. At the same time that the rebels made this charge toward us I discovered a body of the enemy moving from the rear of the garden and door-yard into the thick woods on my right. I