It was then that Colonel Hays, with the Sixty-third Pennsylvania and half the Thirty-seventh New York Volunteers, was moved forward to the line of the guns.
I have here to call to the attention of my superior chiefs this most heroic action on the part of Colonel Hays and his regiment. The Sixty-third has won for Pennsylvania the laurels of fame. That which grape and canister failed in effecting was now accomplished by the determined charge and rapid volleys of this foot. The enemy at the muzzles of our guns for the first time sulkily retired, fighting. Subsequently, ground having been gained, the Sixty-third Pennsylvania was ordered to "Lie low," and the battery once more reopened its ceaseless work of destruction.
This battle saw renewed three onset as above with similar vicissitudes, when finally the enemy betokened his efforts as past by converting his charges into an ordinary line fight of musketry, embracing the whole front of the brigade; for by this period he was enabled to do so from Thompson's pieces having left the field after expending their grape and becoming tired of the futility of round shot.
It may have been then about 7.30 p.m.; full daylight remained, and anticipating that the enemy, foiled in the attempt to carry the New Market road and adjacent open ground, would next hazard an attack toward the Charles City road or intermediate woods, my attention was called there. I therefore left everything progressing steadily in the left and visited the entire line to the right, notwithstanding that the line was long and that no reserves [excepting the weak Third Michigan] existed. The cheerful manner and solid look of Birney's brigade gave assurance of their readiness to be measured with the foe, and they met my warning of the coming storm with loud cheers of exultation. Half an hour or forty minutes may have been thus passed. I then returned to the extreme left of my line. Arriving there, I found that Colonel Hays had been relieved by Colonel Barlow, of the Sixty-first New York Volunteers, the head of General Caldwell's brigade, sent to me from Sumner's corps, and which had reported to General Robinson.
Almost in the commencement of the action, within the first half hour, as I had plainly foreseen and warned my superior, General Heintzelman, and General Humphreys, Engineers, who most kindly had gone over my position with me, every man was engaged or in position or in close support. The Eighty seventh New York Volunteers had been ordered by General Heintzelman to Brackett's Ford, and the First New York Volunteers was diverted from me by a misapprehension of Colonel Dyckman. This fact I announced to General Heintzelman without asking re-enforcements, since I did not conceive them necessary, nor would they have been but for the diverting of my First New York Volunteers-a very strong regiment-to General McCall.
The Sixty-first New York Volunteers, under its most intrepid leader, Colonel Barlow, had vied with the brave regiment he had relieved, and charging the enemy bore off as a trophy one of his colors. It had subsequently taken up its position to the left of the One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania and itself been subsequently retired, but none appointed to take its place, that breastwork being unoccupied. It was at this conjuncture that I arrived from my right. I found McCall's position abandoned, although not occupied by the enemy. I placed in it the First New Jersey Brigade, General Taylor. I then knew it to be in true hands. I observed that whilst the enemy were amusing my entire