rectly over the Eighty-third Pennsylvania. The engagement was spirited and lasted some forty minutes, when the enemy retired behind the hills with great loss.
At 2 o'clock in the afternoon the enemy came on again and was again repulsed with still greater loss, this engagement being of about the same duration. At 6 o'clock he renewed the attack, and for an hour and a half the battle raged fiercely along our entire line. The enemy was evidently in greatly superior numbers. Brigade after brigade of fresh troops poured down upon us from the opposite hills, but at about 7.30 o'clock the enemy gave way on our front and inclined to their left, bearing down, in overwhelming numbers upon General Martindale. Our men were beginning to fire to the right oblique, when the right of my regiment was broken by the First Michigan Volunteers falling back through it. General Martindale's brigade having fallen back, the enemy occupied the hill on our right where General Martindale's brigade had been posted, and was evidently designing to cut us off. The Eighty-third had filed out of the ravine to our left and taken position out of the woods on our rear. Some of the companies on the right of my regiment were in disorder, owing to the First Michigan breaking through our lines, and I was rallying them at the time Major Barnum called my attention to the fact that our regiment was alone and that were we nearly surrounded. I gave the order to fall back. A portion of the regiment on the left formed on the right of the Eighty-third and Forty-fourth and returned again into the woods, under the direction of General Butterfield, and checked for a while the advance of the enemy, and afterward fell back under the command of Major Barnum, Captains Randall, Fowler, and Hoagland, and crossed the Chickahominy above Woodbury's Bridge. The other portion of the regiment gathered around the colors, Captains Wood and Huson rallying them, and until 1.30 o'clock served as a support to a battery at How's house, when by order they crossed the Chickahominy at Woodbury's Bridge. I was with this portion of the regiment.
Our loss in this engagement was 11 killed, 66 wounded, and 54 missing. The whole battle and all the movements of our regiment were under the immediate supervision of the general, whose soldierly, confident bearing as he rode along our lines gave encouragement and spirit to my entire command, and I can hardly give any information in regard to the conduct of the officers and the men not already known to him, as he witnessed the behavior of all, but I cannot omit to say that the officers generally behaved handsomely and were constantly encouraging their men to a vigorous fight. The gallantry of Major Barnum gave life and spirit to all. Captains Randall and Hoagland, though sick in camp (our devious march had brought us back near to camp), hearing the firing, joined the regiment and did good service in the engagement and retreat. Captains Wood, Huson, and Fowler, Lieutenants Estes, Behan, Auer, and Smith acted bravely. There were many instances of real bravery exhibit by the non-commissioned officers and privates, but I cannot mention them by name now, but will do so when appointments are to be made.
Allow me here to mention with approbation the conduct of Quartermaster--Sergeant Hilton, who, after riding up and down the ranks encouraging the men, dismounted, took a musket, went into the ranks, and did good service as a soldier. It gave me great pleasure to notice the gallant conduct of Major Welch, of the Sixteenth Michigan who held his men steady under the hill in rear of the woods, and who after