War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0378 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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enemy, though affording but little shelter from distant curved firing. In front of us, distant from 200 to 300 yards, was a belt of woods, growing in a ravine, through openings of which a view could be had of an extensive open field beyond. These woods I occupied with a company of the Fifth New York Volunteers as skirmishers. From 300 to 400 yards to the right of my line was another forest, bordering the open field and running nearly in a direction perpendicular to our line. This I guarded by a company of the Fifth New York Volunteers, deployed as skirmishers. Major Clitz' battalion of the Twelfth Regular Infantry was on my right, on a line nearly perpendicular to mine, with a large interval between us. Our artillery was posted to the rear and to the left of my line.

About 10.30 o'clock a.m. these arrangements were complete, and we waited the approach of the enemy. The weather was very warm.

About 12.30 m. the enemy forced the passage of Gaines' Creek near the mill, and, cheering as they came, appeared in force at a distance in the open field beyond the wooded ravine in my front. About 1 o'clock p.m. they advanced in several lines, and at my request Captain Edwards brought up a section of his battery on my right and opened on them. Their artillery replied. Others of our batteries to the rear of my line also opened on them, and a fierce fire was carried on between them over our heads, in which we suffered considerably. Captain Edwards steadily kept up his fire, though opposed by several batteries, till, the enemy having driven in our line of skirmishers, I advised him to retire. The enemy now advanced sharpshooters to the edge of the woods to pick off our artillerymen posted behind us, but our rifle firing compelled them to retire.

One of our batteries having opened with shrapnel, the premature explosion of these shells behind us caused so much loss that I was compelled to change my line by throwing the right to the rear along the road and the left more toward the enemy and along the woods to our left.

The enemy's fire ceasing for a time our artillery also ceased and there was a lull, so that we began to think the enemy had retired. But under the shelter of the woods he had formed a column to attack the position occupied by Major Clitz, to the right of my first position, and as soon as it appeared the rapid firing of our artillery dispersed it in a few moments. Again there was a lull, but this time he had planned his attack on the position occupied by myself and where our artillery could not be used without endangering us.

I should think it was now nearly 3 o'clock p.m. Suddenly a regiment burst from the woods with loud yells, advancing at double-quick upon us. The Fifth New York Volunteers, which had been drawn back to be out of the fire of our own artillery, rapidly reformed to meet them on our first position. The enemy received a portion of the fire of the Tenth New York Volunteers as he came rapidly on, and when he neared the Fifth New York Volunteers we charged back, turning his charge into a flight, killing and wounding nearly all of those who field. This charge of the enemy had also been accompanied by a vigorous attack on our position in the woods, and as we advanced we received a heavy fire from the enemy stationed in them. Our men, nothing daunted, continued to advance and drove them from it. The brigade was reformed (as well as the confusion produced by this charge would allow) in its first position, and again it successfully repulsed the advance of the enemy, driving him back to the woods in front, up to which point the colors of the Fifth New York were twice carried. During this part of