Up to this moment I had been in constant communication with the general of division, who through his staff, had assured me that re-enforcements were at my disposal whenever called for. Entirely relieved from anxiety on this account, my battalions continued to hold their positions until their ammunition had to be renewed, when I called on Brigadier-General Howard, who, with the Sixty-first New York, was awaiting impatiently on the railroad in rear to pass my lines. This was done in the most regular manner. Taking advantage of the temporary cessation of our fire the enemy threw upon the advancing supports all their remaining fresh troops.
At this time my adjutant-general, Fisk, fell wounded at my side. Both lines, the relieving and relieved, were being shot down. Joining himself to the Sixty-first New York, Colonel Brooke, of the Fifty-third Pennsylvania, instead of retiring to the second line, continued to charge the enemy. It was now that the gallant Brigadier-General Howard was twice wounded, and the brave Major Yeager, of the Fifty-third Pennsylvania, was killed, fighting hand-to-hand with the enemy.
Not for one moment in the entire fight during this contest for the mastery did our lines blench. The enemy threw in fresh troops, regiment after regiment. The passage or lines, directed with ability and judgment, baffled all their efforts. About two hours had elapsed, and the second and third lines of the division having interposed in front of my left wing, I moved the right wing, consisting of the Sixty-sixth and Fifty-seventh New York, which had earlier in the action cleared their front of the enemy in a direction at right angles to the first line of battle, to feel the left and rear of the enemy's flank. After penetrating the swamp and thicket about three-fourths of a mile the skirmishers of the Sixty-sixth encountered the Forty-first Virginia. A heavy fire being opened upon them, followed by a charge with the bayonet, the enemy broke and precipitately fled, when my brigade, occupying the ground thus conquered, notwithstanding its losses in the battle, remained upon the field unbroken and exultant.
Upon the Fifty-second New York, Colonel Paul Frank, and the Fifty-third Pennsylvania, Colonel Broke, devolved the honor of holding that position of my line most seriously attacked, under fearful odds, against the best troops of the enemy, directed by their ablest commanders. To Colonel Zook, of the Fifty-seventh New York, whose regiment repulsed the attack on my right and by a heavy and continued fire directed it toward the left, and to Colonel Pinckney, of the Sixty-sixth New York, who led the flanking movement around the enemy's left, contributing greatly to cause his retreat, are due whatever success attended the operations of these regiments. The conduct of the officers and men must be judged by the results of a hard-fought field. I heartily concur in the recommendations and praises of the regimental commanders.
Of my own staff, Assistant Adjutant-General Fisk was desperately wounded in the front of fire, displaying the most undaunted courage; Lieutenant and Aide-de-camp Plume was constantly engaged communicating with division headquarters and leading in re-enforcements, subjected to great exposure; Aide-de-Camp Wiliam H. French, jr., was on duty with the front of the line and shared its dangers; Brigade-Surgeon Grant was in readiness to relieve the wounded, and, undeterred by the battle around, performed his duties with coolness and ability. I respectfully request for them the favorable notice of the general commanding division. I must not omit noticing the conspicuous conduct of Assistant Surgeon Dean, of the Fifty-seventh New York, who came forward, and receiving the wounded as they fell, operated behind the