the details of the severe engagements of yesterday, and also the gallant conduct of many officers and soldiers of his command which personally came under my notice during the contest. Especially do I desire to place upon record some instances of individual courage which transpired during that determined and heroic stand of nearly two hours against a force not less than four times our own-incidents which, as we remember the dead and the wounded,seem to be worthy of the most enduring memorials.
Yesterday at 2 o'clock in the afternoon our regiment, with a section of Martin's battery, which had been detached and halted at the cross-roads by orders of General Morell, commanding the division, for the purpose of guarding the advance from any attack of the enemy in the rear, was ordered to the front again, where our forces had already engaged the enemy. As our regiment, with the section of artillery in advance, was moving to the front we came up to the position of General Martindale, who was on the left of the road, in command of the Second Regiment of Maine Volunteers and the Twenty-fifth New York Volunteers, closely watched the movements of the enemy, who had just made his appearance in force in front and in the edge of woods skirting the open field.
Scarcely had General Martindale ordered the section of artillery in position and established the line of battle when brisk firing of musketry was heard in the woods on our left and in the vicinity of the hospital. The general at once ordered a detachment of two companies from the right of our regiment to deploy as skirmishers and to advance to the edge of the woods. While this order was being executed information was received that the enemy was surrounding and threatening the hospital. Five additional companies, under the command of Colonel Stryker, were ordered to its relief. The enemy at once attacked the detachment under command of the colonel, and he deemed it to be his duty to retire and to recall the line of skirmishers, and forming a line of battle with the entire regiment, to force the enemy from his position. Scarcely had the line been formed before two regiments of the enemy in line of battle, with colors advanced, were seen moving against General Martindale's position, with the evident intention of forcing back his lines and capturing the section of artillery. Our regiment was at once ordered to the general's support, but the Twenty-fifth New York Volunteers and the Second Maine Regiment, with a vigorous fire from the artillery, drove back the enemy in great confusion.
Our regiment had scarcely from formed in line of battle on the left of the artillery before three of four regiments of the enemy's forces had suddenly moved to the right of General Martindale's position, and they at once poured into his entire command a most deadly fire. The two right companies of our regiment in the vicinity of the artillery were exposed to a very severe fire, and an order was given by the commanding officer of the regiment for these companies to fall back to the wood under cover. For a time I lost sight of these two companies, but soon afterward I had the pleasure of seeing them in the midst of the desperate struggle, fighting most gallantly by the side of their companions in arms.
At the outset of the engagement the commanding officer of the regiment retired for the purpose of consulting with the general as to bringing up re-enforcements, and hence the responsibility of the command rested upon me. I will merely say that during the entire struggle I tried to do my duty. The officers and men vied with each other in deeds of bravery,and all were determined to never yield their ground