section of the wood with the Nine-mile road, and had been informed by Colonel McCarter, commanding the Ninety-third Pennsylvania, then in motion, that he was proceeding to the same vicinity with his command. After having reported their disposition to the general commanding the division my regiment was at first moved from its encampment to a position behind the Nine-mile road, with the left on the Williamsburg road and soon after to the left across the last-named road, and behind the rifle pits made en echelon of companies. The pits were required to lie down, to avail themselves of the slight cover afforded by the earth excavated from the pits. While they lay there a number were wounded by the shell and case of the enemy and some from our own battery posted immediately in our rear. From the rifle pits, which we occupied some fifteen or twenty minutes and until the fire from the front had nearly ceased, I was ordered by General Keyes to proceed with my command up the road and to form a line near the large wood-pile in front of the abatis. I proceeded at once to execute the order, and the head of my column had advanced a few yards within the abatis when I observed that the enemy had in large force formed upon the same position a battery to sweep the road.
The general commanding the brigade at this moment came up and was unformed for the first time of my orders. At this point, on the left of the road, there was a small oblong-shaped open space about 30 yards wide, and long enough to form five of the seven companies in line fronting the enemy. Having communicated this to the general commanding brigade, I obtained authority to form in this space, and proceeded to do so, placing two of the right companies in the right of the road in the slashing in prolongation of my line. The space was so narrow that the line could only be formed on the right by files. The formation was scarcely completed when a severe fire was opened upon my left flank from the woods and underbrush, not more then 50 paces distant. It was so severe that the line was broken, and the narrowness of the open space made it impossible to change front, although I endeavored to move one or two companies to the rear so as to face the flank attacked. Funding my efforts unavailing I gave the order to retreat firing, but a considerable portion of the regiment having broken, under instructions from the general of brigade I gave the order to retreat. The only route being by the road up which we had advanced, I was compelled to leave a considerable number of dead and wounded.
Captain Day fell here, fighting in close conflict and almost hand-to-hand with the enemy. He was at first only disabled by a wound in the leg, but received a mortal shot whole being borne away by his men. Captain Parsons also fell wounded in the thigh and head while in the act of repeating a command just given by me to charge the front of his company. The position amounted to an ambuscade, and I believe that no troops could be expected to withstand the close and overwhelming fire that surprised our left flank and rear. After being broken and retreating from this position the regiment was readily formed near its place of encampment. Soon after I was ordered to again take position behind the rifle pits before occupied. The movement was effected by crossing to the left of the road and advancing in line in good order, although in the face of the artillery fire of the enemy, under which a considerable number were swept from the ranks.