each other in line of battle, while just previous to this the First Minnesota Regiment, having arrived first, was ordered to take up a position on the right, its right resting upon a farm-house and its left upon a wood, in order to prevent the enemy from flanking us on the right, as he appeared there in great force. My other three regiments, the Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, and Eighty-second New York Volunteers (Second New York State Militia), being formed upon the left of a portion of General Couch's division and Kirby's battery, occupied the road immediately at the angle of the woods, commanding all approaches from the right, left, and center.
We had not remained longer than ten minutes in position before heavy columns of the enemy dashed furiously upon us, evidently attempting to take Kirby's battery; whereupon I was ordered to throw three regiments of my brigade upon the enemy's flank and front, then showing themselves in the outskirts of the woods and moving in the open field.
I immediately ordered the Eighty-second New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hudson commanding, to move forward on the left of Kirby's battery and engage the enemy as quickly as possible, which they did great promptness and gallantry, they having to march over fences and garden palings, which they tore down before them, and among houses, still preserving their line as well as possible. Upon crossing the last fence they opened a most galling fire upon the enemy at a range of from 50 to 100 yards, causing fearful havoc among them.
I was then ordered by both Generals Sumner and Sedgwick to move forward the Thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, Colonel Suiter commanding, upon the left of the Eighty-second New York, which was promptly executed, and upon coming into position the Thirty-fourth New York, being first on the ground, opened a most deadly fire upon the enemy and received one in return not less so. I immediately ordered up the Fifteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Kimball commanding, who had been gallantly supporting Kirby's battery, to the support of the left of the Eighty-second New York and the right of the Thirty-fourth New York, when engagement became general from one end of our line to the other, the enemy pushing forward with the most wonderful determination, while I steadily advanced the brigade from time to time until we came to a distance of 50 yards, when General Sumner (being present with my brigade) directed me to charge the enemy with the bayonet, and gave the order to the Thirty-fourth New York in person, which was quickly repeated by myself and all my staff and by the several field officers. Muskets were promptly brought down to a charge, and the men threw themselves at double-quick headlong upon the enemy, the Thirty-fourth New York somewhat in the advance on the left and in perfect line, the Eighty-second New York on the right, the Fifteenth Massachusetts supporting the center. The enemy on the right and center gave way, but a South Carolina regiment, before the Thirty-fourth New York, brought their bayonets to a charge, and stood until that regiment was within 10 or 15 paces of them. I halted the Eighty-second New York and Fifteenth Massachusetts a little before they entered the woods, but the Thirty-fourth New York plunged into the thicket some 50 paces before I could halt them. A farther advance would have imperiled their left flank.
About this time General Sedgwick received orders to proceed to the right of our line, and I received my orders thereafter from General Sumner direct. This bayonet charge was made with a yell, which must nave given the fullest evidence to the enemy that our troops were in