and adjutant-general of General Morell, and he showed me the position which the orders indicated. General Griffin was already there with part of his brigade. I passed Butterfield's brigade on the road. My lines were all formed and I had sent out pickets. I knew that there was a force of our troops still in our front, and soon Couch's division went forward to relieve it.
At about 10 o'clock at night I received information from General Porter that he did not expect me to go so far to the front and not farther than the position held by Butterfield's brigade, but he sent me no orders. I then withdrew my command about half a mile, but still in advance of Butterfield's brigade. We had parted from our transportation, tents, and food back at White Oak Swamp on Sunday morning. This night the men had to forage for food, and although firing had ceased, pigs were squealing wherever they could be found in our vicinity. The Thirteenth New York Regiment had a full day's ration of hard bread on hand, and they generously divided with the First Michigan, which regiment had been twenty-four hours without rations.
Morning came, July 1. We got intelligence from our wagons, and had sent around to us a quantity of sugar, coffee, and hard bread. This was a great relief. It was quite along in the forenoon, when the rear guard of the day before retired, and Porter's corps and Couch's division were left to cover the front. I think it was full noon when the battle opened. The firing was in northeast direction from us, toward Couch's division, which was on our right. Under orders from General Morell I moved my brigade forward and formed in line of battle by battalions at half distance. They were slightly covered by ground rising in front. The Second Maine Regiment was on the right; the Thirteenth New York was on the left. I directed them to lie down. Griffin's brigade was in front, still farther on the left, where we had a couple of batteries. Butterfield's brigade was immediately in my rear.
The battle was now an affair of artillery, and none of Porter's corps had yet engaged the infantry. Couch, however, was pressed severely on the right, but held his ground. I had encountered artillery before, but now it opened as I had never yet seen it. It was obvious that the whole Army of the Potomac was resting there for safety on the steadiness of the portion of it which was then confronting the enemy. I went along the line of my regiments and told them my dispositions for battle, and reminded them that a retreat would be annihilation. It would be better to face the enemy to the last than to retire-that there was no Washington to fall back upon, as at Bull Run; no Chickahominy to cross, as at Gaines' Mill. We must be victorious or perish. That statement of the case was trued, and the men knew it and appreciated it.
During the progress of the cannonading my men were held inactive. I saw repeatedly the wounded rise from their places and retire to the shelter of a bank to our left and rear (which place was selected for a hospital), and those that could not go without aid borne by comrades, who deposited them with the surgeon, and promptly and quietly returned to their places. In this position a number of men were killed and were borne away in like manner, and the places thus made vacant were immediately closed again. Without contrasting the quiet, steady, resolute courage of my brigade with any other engaged that day, I am sure that no other furnished finer exhibitions of fortitude and heroism than my men displayed. At length the enemy ceased their cannonading. There was a calm, but the storm burst again speedily. I had directed the Second Maine to the right,to be in readiness to support Couch. I