gerous to ford. We succeeded, however, in a short time in crossing directly west of Tyler's, advancing as rapidly as the bad state of the roads would permit, coming up too late to take any part in the action of that day.
May 31, 1862, I received orders from General French to form my command in line of battle nearly parallel to the railroad and to the left of the Sixty-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers, within 200 yards of dense woods on our front and right, which were occupied by the enemy during the night; after which the men were ordered to sleep upon their arms in position.
At 3.30 a.m. June 1 I received orders to form my regiment and at 5.30 a.m. follow on the right of the Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers into the woods, which were very dense. We halted when the right of the regiment had passed the railroad about 30 yards and formed in line of battle. In about half an hour the enemy opened a very heavy fire upon the whole line about 40 yards distance, killing 1 and wounded 4. The fire was instantly returned in the coolest manner, causing the enemy to fall back; whereupon we advanced at the charge, driving him entirely from his position, killing and wounding a large number, among the number several officers.
After the enemy were driven back, having no orders to follow him any distance, I halted the regiment and stood at shoulder-arms, when before we discovered him the enemy had again approached, under cover of the thick undergrowth, and opened a terrific fire upon us, killing 2, one of them Color-Sergt. Henry L. Stuert, and wounding 12. We immediately returned this second attack with vigor, and again drove the enemy back. At this moment Brigadier-General French arrived from the left of the line, and seeing our position and that of the enemy ordered me to move my command obliquely to the right, throwing out two companies 50 yards in front from the right and faced toward the left, flanking our entire line. Captain Charles McKay was charged with the execution of this movement.
As soon as the position was taken we discovered the enemy advancing upon the front and right in great force, evidently intending to turn our right. We at once opened a rapid and continuous fire from the front and the two flanking companies, which completely surprised him, causing him after a desperate effort to break and in great confusion. This movement cleared that part of the woods and in my opinion contributed very materially in deciding the action of the day.
Directly after this affair I was ordered by General Richardson, commanding division, to march my command out of the woods that he might shell them. We moved across the railroad into the field we occupied the night previous, and formed parallel to the railroad, the right resting near the station. In this position two men of the right company were wounded by the enemy's sharpshooters.
At 1 p.m., in accordance with orders received from General French, I marched my command into the woods in support of General Meagher's brigade. We remained in this position one hour and a half, then moved to the left to support Hazzard's battery, Fourth Artillery, the firing having ceased three hours.
My staff were very efficient, Assist. Surg. H. C. Dean removing the wounded under a very heavy fire, and Surg. Robert V. McKim discharging his duties at the hospital very creditably.
I feel it my duty to call especial attention to Captain W. A. Kirk, as he was present without his company, which was detached on fatigue duty at White House, and afforded great assistance to the regiment