In the attack of the 30th I ordered the One hundredth Regiment New York Volunteers to move to the support of the pickets. With the assistance of this regiment, under command of Colonel Brown, they succeeded in repelling the attack, the enemy leaving 6 of his dead upon the ground.
On the morning of the 31st my pickets toward the right of my line succeeded in capturing Lieutenant Washington, an aide of General Johnston, of the rebel service. This circumstance, in connection with the fact that Colonel Hunt, my general officer of the day, had reported to me that his outer pickets had heard cars running nearly all night on the Richmond end of the railroad, led me to exercise increased vigilance. Between 11 and 12 o'clock amounted vedette was sent in from the advanced pickets to report that a body of the enemy was in sight, approaching on the Richmond road. I immediately ordered the One hundred and third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers to advance to the front, for the purpose of supporting the pickets. It was soon afterward reported to me by a mounted vedette that the enemy were advancing in force, and about the same time two shells were thrown over my camp. I was led to believe that a serious attack was contemplated, and immediately ordered the division under arms, the men at work in the rifle pits and abatis to be recalled and to join their regiments, the artillery to be harnessed up at once, and made my dispositions to repel the enemy. While these were in progress the pickets commenced firing.
I directed Spratt's battery of four pieces 3-inch rifled guns to advance in front of the rifle pits about one-fourth of a mile, in order to reply with advantage to the enemy's artillery, which I knew was in battery in front of my picket line, and also to shell the enemy as soon as the withdrawal of the pickets and their supports should permit. I supported this battery by the One hundred and fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, the Eleventh Regiment Maine Volunteers, and the One hundredth Regiment New York Volunteers, of the First Brigade, and the Ninety-second Regiment New York Volunteers, of the Third Brigade. I placed Captain Bates' battery, commanded by Lieutenant Hart, in a redoubt; Captain Regan's battery in rear and on the right of the rifle pits, and Captain Fitch's battery in rear of the redoubt. The Eighty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers occupied the rifle pits on the left and the Eighty-fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers those in the right. The One hundred and first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers were posted on the right of these regiments, and the Eighty-first, Ninety-eighth, and Ninety-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers were advanced to cover the left flank. For several days the Fifty-second Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers had occupied a position on the Nine-mile road as a support to my advanced pickets on my right flank, and the Fifty-sixth Regiment New York Volunteers had held a position on the railroad. I made no change in the positions of these last two regiments.
About fifteen minutes after these dispositions had been completed I directed the advanced battery to open on the artillery and advancing columns of the enemy. In a short time after the One hundred and third Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, which at the first alarm had been ordered to the support of the pickets, came down the road in some confusion, having suffered considerable loss from the fire of the rebel advance.
The enemy now attacked me in large force on the center and both wings, and a brisk fire of musketry commenced along the two opposing lines, my artillery in the mean time throwing canister into their ranks