Three of our skirmishers passed around the right of the piece, and a sergeant of Company A returned with 2 men and some 10 prisoners and dragged the piece to the large tree, where it remained until the brigade returned. I claim for the Eighty-third Pennsylvania, by the fire of its skirmishers, and for this brigade, by the advance of two of its regiments, the honor of causing the flight of the supports of this battery and the abandonment of one of its guns.
Here we were ordered to halt. General Butterfield then appeared, and cheering for our success, we were ordered to advance again. Company G, Captain Konx, under Major Naghel, was here ordered to scour the woods to the extreme left of our line of skirmishers beyond the railroad, and report what was there. This was done. Having taken some prisoners and reported the woods clear, he was ordered to skirmish to the front. Meantime the regiment and the other skirmishers were advancing. The two companies of skirmishers along the woods on the main road to Hanover Court-House captured some 30 prisoners, a captain among the number, who fired and endeavored to retreat. The main body of the regiment passed along the railroad to an open field on its right through this in line, halted by General Butterfield's command, then advanced to the Hanover Court-House road and up it to the Court-House, and passed then into the field on the left to rest. Almost immediately orders came from General Butterfield and General Porter, through Captain Norton, to return, as the enemy was in our rear. We moved at once toward the railroad, down it, me the Sixteenth Michigan, crossed the railroad to right, formed line to the rear and right of the Sixteenth Michigan, and advanced through the wheat fields in the direction of the heaviest firing of the enemy. At this moment General Butterfield appeared, and raising his cap, started by rousing cheers from the regiment, gave the intelligence of
re-enforcements near at hand. We took double-quick across the plowed field, flung out our skirmishers, Captain Brown and Lieutenant Wilson, and plunged into the woods, where the musketry was now sharp and constant. We found the enemy almost immediately. The skirmishers opened fire, and commenced pressing him back so rapidly than we captured here more prisoners than we could justifiably detach me to guard. We were obliged to send them to the rear in large squads, under charge of single sentries, and abandon their guns.
We found at this moment from the prisoners that two of the regiments to which they belonged were in the woods to the right and quite to the rear of our regiment,in line of battle at right angles to that of our own, now advancing rapidly through the woods. Word was immediately sent to General Butterfield, through Major Von Vegessack, reporting the fact. Our right company of skirmishers was here subjected to a volley from the enemy in the woods up the railroad track. Evidently fearing that their left was exposed to a flank movement, the enemy began falling back. Passing over the railroad track, clambering up the hill and through the swamp, we came out of the woods immediately in front of the enemy upon the road, where several sections of Griffin's battery, under Lieutenants Kingsbury and Hazlett, were getting into battery. We remained but a moment. General Butterfield came up. Perceiving this to be the decisive moment of the day, he called for a horse and ordered us, fortunately, at once to advance in front of the battery and engage the enemy, now out of the woods and in the field. Questioning the lieutenants in command of the battery as to whether the angle of elevation would permit ut to pass through them, and finding they were firing at regiments of the enemy