By this time it had become very dark. We were formed on the left of the Fifty-seventh New York by General French in person, our right resting near the left of the Fifty-seventh and our left extending into the woods to within a short distance of the railroad. General French ordered me to send two companies upon the railroad as pickets to connect with General Birney's right, which was instantly done. About daybreak General French came to me personally and ordered me to change front, as there was a large body of rebel troops on our right. In about an hour he ordered me to resume my former position, which I immediately did. At the same time he ordered my two companies (the pickets) to be withdrawn. Shortly after he general ordered me to move by the left flank and follow the Fifty-second New York (which had in the mean time been placed on my left) into the woods beyond the railroad. We had moved forward until our right had passed the railroad some 50 yards, when the Fifty-second halted. I also halted.
After some time it became apparent that the Fifty-second was about to be attacked. I immediately faced my regiment to the front. The firing commenced (from the enemy) on my left, they being but a short distance from us. I passed down the line toward the right, when I found that about 100 of the right wing had fallen back, caused by the following circumstance: An aide-de-camp rode down the front of the left wing as the firing commenced, and when he reached the colors found it necessary to pass my lines. He then ordered the men to "Fall back; give way," which they obeyed, and misinterpreting the command fell back beyond the railroad, where they rallied and were brought back in good order. The error was corrected in a very few minutes.
About this time I met General French in rear of the left wing of my regiment. After standing with him some time he asked me if my ammunition was nearly gone. I told him it was, from the upper part of the boxes. He told me to stand fast until he returned, and passed back toward the railroad. In a few moments he returned, leading the Sixty-first New York, when he ordered me to have my men lie down and to left the Sixty-first New York pass my line, which was accordingly done. The men were then ordered to fill the upper parts of their boxes from the box magazine, when the general immediately ordered us forward to the right, where we continued fighting until the fire of the enemy had ceased, when we held the position we then occupied until an order came to Colonel Barlow, of the Sixty-first New York, to move out of the woods by the right flank, said orders coming from General Richardson, with instructions to communicate them to me also. I then followed the Sixty-first New York out of the woods into the field occupied by the brigade the night previous, where I again met General French, who ordered me to the position I now occupy; also directing me to replenish my exhausted cartridge boxes.
The firing during the engagement was very heavy. The time during which we were under fire was nearly four hours. The regiments opposed to us during this action were the Forty-first Virginia, Third Alabama, Fifty-third Virginia, and a regiment supposed to be the Twenty-third Alabama. Also a regiment with black slouch hats, supposed to be Mississippians.
My loss is as follows: Killed, 13; wounded, 64; missing, 17; making a total of 94.
Among the killed was Major Thomas Yeager, who behaved with great gallantry up to the moment of his death, which occured during the advance of the regiment to the right. Among the wounded are Captains Church, Moody, and Eichholtz, and First Lieutenant Wiliam