assist in protecting a working party throwing up an intrenchment. Arriving on the ground my regiment was placed in position a short distance in rear of the earthwork, the right wing resting on a piece of woods. In rear was a deep ravine, on the opposite side of which was planted a heavy battery masked by timber. In front of the intrenchment extended a large, level wheat field, at the upper end of which the enemy had thrown up some works.
About 9 o'clock a.m. the enemy made his appearance on the left of our works, as if preparing for an attack. Upon this the working party and all the force supporting it, with the exception of the First Brigade, was withdrawn across the ravine. This brigade, including my regiment, was directed to hold the piece of woods on the right before mentioned. The regiment was moved to the right a short distance and posted in the edge of the woods, the Forty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers being on the left and the Fifth Wisconsin Volunteers on the right flank.
About 10 a.m. the enemy opened a heavy fire from his artillery, directed at the woods where we lay and at the battery of heavy guns, which had in the mean time been unmasked by felling the trees in its front. The fire was immediately returned by our artillery, which soon obliged the enemy to retire. After this all quiet until near sunset, when the enemy again brought out his artillery and commenced shelling furiously. As before, they were soon silenced and compelled to desist. Their firing while it lasted was rapid, and a number of my men were wounded by pieces of shell-some quiet severely.
In front of the line occupied by my regiment was a narrow strip of wheat field, perhaps 100 yards wide. This field was most elevated in the center, from which it declined slightly to the woods on either side, the opposite side being skirted by a piece of timber similar to the one we occupied. It was quite dark in the woods; when a few scattering shots from our pickets, posted along the crest in the center of the field, instantly followed by a heavy volley all along our front, brought every one to his feet. The volley was instantly returned, but the attack came suddenly, and though somewhat surprised, it did not find us off our guard. The firing from both sides was rapid and heavy, and was kept up nearly an hour by the enemy. At the end of this time they silently retired. My men expended on an average 50 rounds of cartridges. Many of the guns became useless by reason of foulness. The want of ammunition and the foul state of the arms caused us to be relieved by other troops, and we arrived in camp about 1 o'clock a.m. on the morning of the 28th.
The following are the officers under my command whom I consider worthy of special notice:
Captain S. C. Gray, Company A; Captain W. H. Stanchfield, Company I; Captain J. H. Ballinger, Company C; Captain George Fuller, Company H; Captain R. W. Young, Company G; First Lieutenant J. B. McKinley, Company, E; First Lieutenant John M. Lincoln, Company F. Also the following men: First Sergt. Theodore Lincoln, jr., and Private Matthew Wood, Company F.
I can hardly discriminate between my officers and men. They all did their duty faithfully.
Colonel, Commanding Sixth Maine Volunteers.
Captain JOHN HANCOCK,