Shortly after making their appearance they posted a battery on our right and opened fire through an opening in the woods, throwing shrapnel, shell, grape, and canister with accuracy and effect. Company E was then ordered to the front as skirmishers to pick of the gunners from the batteries, which was done with considerable effect. They were driven in by an advance of the enemy in force, which was meet by a fire by companies along the whole regiment, followed by a fire by file, which had the effect to check the enemy and drive them back into the woods. They did not appear again for about an hour. The batteries meanwhile continued to play upon us, thinning our ranks perceptibly.
Agreeably with your orders we again changed position, forming line of battle in the road. Shortly after the enemy emerged in force from the woods on our left, and we then resumed our former position on the crest of the hill. Of the charge which the regiment then made, in which Colonel Warren and all the field officers mounted took a part in leading, it is unnecessary for me to report. Suffice it that the enemy was driven from the field in confusion and the fugitives were nearly annihilated by our fire. The enemy with fresh troops now opened with musketry from the woods, the most deadly fire being carried on by both sides, they several times appearing on the field in force. They fought bravely and contested the ground with great stubbornness. Our line was several times forced to yield, which it did in good order before a greatly superior number, but as often advanced and regained the ground at the point of the bayonet. We occupied the ground until re-enforcements came to our support and held it, when we were relieved and ordered to support batteries of field artillery on our right, which we did until about 8.30 p.m., delivering an effective fire whenever the enemy approached, and suffering considerably.
Night having set in and firing having ceased the batteries were withdrawn, and we retired from the field. We were in the engagement about eight and a half hours,the greater part of the time under a very severe fire. Colonel Warren, having command of the brigade, left but two field officers to the regiment, and Captain Cleveland Winslow, of Company E, was detailed to act as major.
During the action the following changes took place in the commands of the companies: Lieutenant C. S. Montgomery, of Company C, was assigned to command of Company B. The two remaining officers of Company C being subsequently wounded, Lieutenant Eickler, of Company H, was assigned to command of that company. Lieutenant Lounsberry, of Company K, was assigned to the command of Company E.
I wish to mention the gallant conduct of the following officers: Major Hull, Captains Winslow, Partridge, Duryea, Burnett, Cambreleng, Lewis, and Boyd; Lieutenants Montgomery, Sargent, Hager, Cartwright, Eickler, McConnell, Lounsberry, Prime, Wheeler, and Agnus. Their coolness was particularly shown in preparing for the last charge, just previous to which, the regiment being very much thinned, the ranks were closed and told off with great coolness under the most terrific fire.
Captain Wiliam T. Partridge, of Company I, behaved with great bravery and coolness, commanding the admiration of the entire regiment. He was nearly the whole day advanced with his company as skirmishers in a very exposed position, and was killed while gallantly leading his company in a charge. I must also call attention to the following non-commissioned officers and privates, whose meritorious acts came under the notice of myself and officers, viz: Color Sergt. Andrew B. Allison,