through the woods in the order indicated above and halt at the point on the edge of the woods indicated by the fence marked * * *
I then ascended a small three, where I was informed by Major Bartram, of the Seventeenth, I could discover correctly the whole position of affairs and act accordingly. Doing so, I found the enemy drawn up in line near the house and orchard (afterward used for general hospital and headquarters of General Porter), with a section of a battery in action, supported by the Thirty-eighth North Carolina Regiment. I since learned from prisoners that this regiment was about 1,300 strong.
To my right and rear was Benson's battery, and I think section of Weeden's (the cavalry in rear), replying to the fire of the enemy's guns. A position of the Twenty-fifth New York and a few of Berdan's Sharpshooters were in the positions indicated on the sketch. I determined to attack vigorously, and at once ordered the command forward in the order heretofore mentioned. The regiments, though much reduced in numbers by the march, the guards left in camp and with the wagons, moved up in the most admirable order, with all the precision of dress parade - skirmishers' firing gradually accelerating their pace. They charged the enemy and drove him back, capturing one of his cannon, with caisson and ammunition complete, except the horse. We pursued rapidly and captured many prisoners. The enemy were completely routed.
After getting a long distance in advance of our first position I was informed by a prisoner the eight regiments of the enemy had gone to our right and rear. I deemed this of sufficient importance to halt from the pursuit and await support on my right or further orders. I did so, and threw out skirmishers on my right and left flank. I immediately advised General Porter of the circumstances. General Porter and General Morell came on the ground afterward, bringing up the batteries and cavalry on my right. General Porter shortly afterward directed me to push on to Hanover Court-House and railroad station, which was done most rapidly considering the fatigued condition of the men, in order of battle as before, except that the Sixteenth Michigan (Colonel Stockton) led the left across the railroad bridge, and the Eighty-third Pennsylvania the right, by the ravine and road, and all moved across the Machumps Creek by the flank. I had ordered arms stacked with two regiments, and had sent an aide for the others to come in the field between the station and Court-House, when an order came from General Porter to move my command back to the rear to support General Martindale, who had been attacked from the rear.
As soon as possible I made my dispositions to return, ordering the Twelfth and Seventeenth New York to return by the road, and taking the Eighty-third Pennsylvania and Stockton's Sixteenth Michigan back by the railroad, with a view to flank the enemy and support General Martindale in whatever position I might find him. I could only judge of the location by the report of musketry, the dense woods hiding from sight any indications or points of position. As we approached the woods near the railroad the cheers of the enemy, with their unceasing volleys of musketry, led me to believe that they were gaining an advantage. I called upon my men to forward at double-quick and cheer. They responded with a will cheering lustily. Our cheers were evidently heard by the enemy, for they slackened their fire apparently, flanked or driven back from the front I am unable to say.
We pushed into the woods and came up on their flank, capturing many prisoners, in fact encumbered ourselves with them, and found