War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0448 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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tenant-Colonel Frick and Major Martin, to form his line of battle, and I am pained to state that their noble exertions were not in many instances seconded by some of the line officers, who lacked that impulsive enthusiasm and cool determination required of them under such trying circumstances, and I was forced to lead forward the third regiment in line, the Fifth Maine Volunteers, Colonel N. J. Jackson. This regiment also changed its front in the most soldierly manner, and under the sweeping storm of iron and leaden hail sent up their battle-shout and rushed upon the enemy, forcing back his lines and holding the crest of the hill in our front, from which our troops had so recently been driven.

The Twenty-seventh New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Colonel A. D. Adams commanding, was now ordered to the front, and after executing the same maneuver of changing front under the same scathing fire charged bayonets, and giving three ringing cheers rushed at double-quick upon the enemy, who occupied the left crest of the hill, on which was a dwelling and numerous outhouses; nor did they stand to meet the impetuosity of their officers, who were vainly endeavoring to make them stand their ground. Thus the left and right of my line of battle being retaken and established, and the Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers being in line and eager for the fight, I ordered them to the front, and most nobly now did they respond to the command. No officer or man faltered, and their solid and unwavering line pressed forward to their position and competed the front.

The enemy now hurled his fresh troops in double numbers again my line, directing his heaviest fire upon my left, and the Twenty-seventh New York Volunteers and Fifth Maine staggered back under the fearful fire; but it was the recoil of the lion to gather new strength to support the undaunted resolution of every breast, and once more every man sparing to the enemy, until long after darkness showed the flash of every musket, and revealed to the enemy how small a force was holding them in check.

To meet the fire which came from our left Colonel Howland, who held the right of my position, changed front forward on tenth company, and the line thus established held its position until all firing of musketry had ceased on the field except that from my own brigade, and not until nearly every cartridge had been expended was the order given to retire behind our batteries, which were posted about 600 yards in the rear.

In retiring I first withdrew my right regiment in line of battle, then the next from the right, holding the two left regiments to protect the movements, as I was completely flanked on the left by a brigade of the enemy which he had moved up in the darkness from the woods and had just opened a galling cross-fire upon my left and rear.

The withdrawal of my brigade was dome under my immediate command, regiment by regiment, and in as good order as when they were taken into the field.

From the moment my troops were engaged up to 8.30 o'clock p. m. (at which hour it was too dark to distinguish an enemy at the distance of 50 paces) they nobly held the position assigned tao them, and regretted the necessity which compelled them to retire from the field. I formed a new line of battle in front of the hospital on the second hill from the bridge, with the Twenty-seventh and Sixteenth New York and a part of the Fifth Maine, the Ninety-sixth Pennsylvania Volun-