War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0168 OPERATIONS IN N.VA., W.VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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killed. The firing was close. The escape of the lines from great loss was often a very narrow one.

At the line of the partial suspension of the cannonade, seeing Geary's brigade advancing, I began a cautious advance of my first line (One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania and Third Maryland), and soon after receiving the order from division headquarters to "Move forward," we straightened up and marched in line at the ordinary pace directly for the enemy. In advancing we passed over a small ridge, a ditch, fences, a road lying parallel to our position, and then a field of very high corn, beyond which the ground was open and ascending. While descending the slope of the ridge the line received the fire of the enemy without any disconcertion. Discovering the road, the battalion commanders were notified that it would be the rallying place if any break should occur. Continuing to advance amidst the whistle of a storm of bullets, the alignment was of course interrupted in crossing the fences. These were more in the way of the left than the right, in consequence of which the Third Maryland was not quite dressed up to the One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania, but sufficiently so for open ground. In the corn field, though, but few men could see each other, and this was the cause of the One hundred and eleventh lapping over the Third Maryland. On the whole, the advance was as good as it would have been over the same ground on drill.

The line, having reached the outer edge of the corn field, was halted to co-operate in the plan of battle which had been communicated to me. The fire of the enemy at the time of halting converged from full thirty degrees to our left, where it was nearest to us along the front. While crossing the corn field the order was communicated to me from division headquarters to move forward my whole force. I now brought up the second line (One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania and One hundred and second New York), and placed it in echelon of about 100 paces to the left and rear of the first. In accomplishing this I saved much time by passing through the battery, masking it for a moment only, as the ground descended rapidly from the guns. The obstacles int he way deranged the alignment as before, but with due attention it was perfectly restored.

Before the fire of this line was delivered great care was taken to explain the angle in which it must confine its aim, so as to avoid the Third Maryland. It then fired a single volley at the word. In reloading some files lost the direction, and came to an aim toward the forbidden point. I caused the firing to cease before a second discharge and the proper front to be indicated again. The Third Maryland hearing the volley in its rear supposed itself fired into, and retired in consequence in disorder, passing the right of the second line. Colonel De Witt reported this in person while it was occurring, and I directed him to rally his regiment in the rear. The One hundred and eleventh Pennsylvania, finding itself alone in advance, followed the movement of the Third Maryland. Both regiments rallied in the road previously designated-rallied under fire-in which position they proved of important service, as will be seen immediately.

The second line uniformly held its own. Bearing myself generally toward its left to look for any change in the position of the enemy until I discovered that daylight was fading I then went to the right, observing as I went the perfect order and enthusiasm of our troops, who were loading and firing deliberately amidst the unabated heat of the enemy's fire. On approaching the right I perceived that the firing in the other brigades had ceased, which forcibly impressed upon me the