forward (the Duc accompanying me to indicate the exact location), and placed it in line of battle along the edge of the woods, about 50 yards in rear of the Third Pennsylvania Reserves, Colonel Sickel, the regiment I was to sustain. This regiment stood its ground well and was incessant in its firing. Wishing to afford it support at the proper moment, I sent forward to the commanding officer and told him that I was in his rear forwarded to the commanding officer and told him that I was in his firing. Wishing to afford it support at the proper moment, I went forward to the commanding officer and told him that I was in his rear to relieve him as soon as he should give the word.
In about fifteen minutes the colonel informed me that as his regiment had been engaged some time, and was much exhausted, he wished me to take his place. This was the work of but a few moments, when my regiment, for the first time under immediate fire, commenced pouring upon the enemy a shower of lead, which continued with only occasional intervals (when I was anxious to have the din cease and the smoke roll away, the better to discern the exact position of the enemy and more effectually deliver our fire) for nearly three hours, from 4 to near 7. The regiment all this while behaved with great gallantry, and its fire, as I have since learned, told with galling effect on the enemy - Whiting's division, of Stonewall Jackson's corps, the troops opposed to us.
At the period, the men's pieces in many cases having become so foul as not to admit of the cartridge being rammed home and in others so as to make it dangerous to load them, and both officers and men having become very much exhausted, and Colonel Gallagher, of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Reserves, immediately in my rear, having twice come forward to solicit the privilege to relieve me with his regiment, I consented, I taking his position, to sustain him, according to his request, and he mine. I had, however, no sooner taken his ground than I perceived a large body of troops drawn up on my left and extending very considerably to my rear. There being a diversity of opinion as to the character of these troops, some pronouncing them the enemy, while as many believed they were our own, I directed a brave officer of the regiment, Lieutenant Shaw, to go forward and certainly ascertain the truth. He soon came back, pointing to the bullet-holes through his clothes as evidence that they were the rebels. I therefore immediately changed my front so as to poops these troops and be the better able to cope with them, and at the same time be in a position to cover Colonel Gallagher, should he be obliged to retreat. The change was effected, but no sooner commenced than the troops referred to began to pour in upon no sooner commenced than the troops referred to began to pour in upon us a very destructive fire, the hissing of a myriad of serpents.
At the same time perceiving in my new rear another large body of troops, which I suspected might be rebel troops, and which another brave officer, Adjt. J. S. Studdeford, by a personal exposure to their fire, subsequently ascertained to be the truth, I felt the extreme peril of my position. Not, therefore, willing to attract the fire of these troops on my rear while the enemy was already pouring in shot upon my front, and perceiving by a prostrate position that we would be in a manner shielded by an intervening swell of the land, and be at the same time ready to meet him with a volley and a charge should he come upon us and be the better able to protect Colonel Gallagher should he retreat, I ordered the men to lie down. We had, however, been in this position but a few minutes when I perceived the Eleventh Pennsylvania retreating from the woods and Colonel Gallagher in the rear, making signs to me that the enemy was close upon him. This was soon evinced by the rebels appearing in full pursuit at a double-quick and passing immediately by our front