War of the Rebellion: Serial 013 Page 0455 Chapter XXIII. SEVEN DAYS' BATTLES.

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order to that effect I formed in double column, closed in mass, in rear of the Sixteenth New York, occupying the head of a ravine that was enfiladed by several of the enemy's guns. Observing that the guns were trained upon the road leading down the center of the ravine, I moved the column forward as close as possible to the crest of the hill occupied by the line of the Sixteenth, where the men laid down to rest, 350 of them having been upon their feet marching and working for more than thirty-six consecutive hours. At 5 o'clock the Sixteenth moved forward, and I was ordered to occupy their vacated position, which was done. Being ordered to change front forward, the movement was executed under a galling fire. Several of the men were wounded and carried to the rear at this time. First Lieutenant E. T. Ellrich, of Company B, was here shot through the brain while gallantly encouraging his company to press forward. He fell close by my side.

The colonel commanding the brigade in person now ordered me to advance at double-quick and form on the left of the Sixteenth, which had gone into position and was about to commence firing. The charge across the field was made in fine style, the men coming up square, cheering as they advanced. The firing was heavy in front, a shower of lead and iron falling around us. During a momentary lull the smoke lifted, disclosing the enemy's line, rising a hundred yards beyond the garden. A rattling volley followed, passing harmlessly over the heads of my men, who had been ordered to lie down. A scathing fire was then kept up against us for several minutes, when riding rapidly to the right of my line and finding all right, I ordered a volley to be delivered. The men rose promptly and delivered their fire, which silenced that of the enemy for a brief time. My left rested upon a group of buildings, under the cover of which I found about 50 officers and men, who assured me that their several regiments were posted directly in front of us. Fearing from these representations that the left of the Sixteenth might have advanced on the road upon our right and by some means got before us, I again rode to the right of my line and found the opening there unoccupied and an interval of 50 feet between my right and the left of the Sixteenth. Obtaining from this point a better view of the front, I discovered the enemy fearfully close, and momentarily expected to be charged. Having dispatched a messenger for orders, I now returned to the center of my line to receive them, having cautioned the officers to keep the pieces of at least one rank charged.

At this moment Major Seaver, of the Sixteenth, rode up, seeking the brigade commander. He informed me that his regiment was doing good work, but needed support. I doubted the propriety of moving my line, but, as he strenuously urged it, begging me for the "love of God" to close in on their left, I took the responsibility, and moved the regiment to the right until my men mingled with his. For more than one hour after this my men poured in their fire. Any disposition on the part of the enemy to charge us when we first came upon the field seems to have been reconsidered, as their fire slackened and was much easier to bear as the day declined.

At 7.15 o'clock Colonel Howland, of the Sixteenth, rode up to my center and informed me that his ammunition was giving out. We advised together, concluding not to retire until dark, he agreeing to fire until his men reached the last cartridge and then to rest with pieces charged. While the enemy's fire was growing feebler in our front we were still subjected to an ugly cross-fire of round shot and musketry, that cut us obliquely from the right.

At dusk I ordered the regiment to retire to our first position, which