forces against surprise. The force present were the Forty-fourth New York Volunteers and one section of Martin's battery, Massachusetts Artillery. I posted one company of the Forty-fourth on each of the roads about one-half mile from the crossing, with sufficient vedettes in commanding positions to guard against any surprise. In about one hour from the time I halted I received orders from General Morell to move the force under my command to the front as soon as possible. As soon as my companies rejoined the regiment we moved up the road already taken by the division. I soon came up to General Martindale, who ordered me to support him, as the enemy had appeared in force in his front and had driven in his skirmishers. I placed my force under his command, was ordered to put my regiment into column by division, afterward changed into column of companies, right in front, closed in mass, and we were moved into a hollow out of sight of the enemy. The general immediately ordered skirmishers to be thrown forward to skirt the woods on our left, which was done by the two right companies of my regiment.
Information being received at that time that the enemy had attacked the hospital, which was about one-half mile to the rear, the general ordered me to take five companies of my regiment and disperse what force of the enemy I found there. I started with the left wing, marched down the road, right in front, came to the woods are on each side of the road, halted my command, threw out skirmishers, and had just given the command "Forward," when the enemy poured a volley of musketry in our ranks. I ordered a reply, which was executed in a splendid manner, the men behaving with perfect coolness. The enemy appeared to be within 75 yards of us, and I should judge from 150 to 200 strong. As a feint I gave the order to prepare for a change, and immediately marched the force to the rear and formed line of battle facing the woods, sent for the remaining companies of the right wing, doubled the line of skirmishers, gave them the proper support, reported to the general by mounted orderly, and asked permission to advance and clear the woods of any concealed enemy found there. Before a reply came I saw the enemy advancing in front of General Martinsdale's force. I immediately recalled my skirmishers and marched to his support of the artillery, which would bring us in line about 20 feet from the road and parallel to it.
While we were deploying into line of battle the enemy opened a terrific cross-fire on the whole force, commencing on our left and running to the right, ranging from 150 to 500 yards distance. I opened fire immediately with the force deployed, and in a few moments ordered my men to fall back under cover. The left was partially protected after getting in the road. The third, fourth, and fifth companies gained partial protection justa after crossing the road. The first and second companies could not get any protection until retiring some distance in the field. They very soon, however, joined the regiment near the center, and fought nobly during the remainder of the engagement.
On seeing how my command was situated, with no protection to our left, and knowing a force of the enemy was concealed in the woods within musket range only a short time before, and also seeing the enemy's troops moving toward our left, I reported the fact to General Martindale, and asked that re-enforcements might be sent there. He ordered me to rally what men there were coming across the field behind a fence in the edge of the woods where he had taken shelter. I saw the Twenty-fifth New York retiring across the field, delivered my orders