War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0269 Chapter XXIV. CAMPAIGN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA.

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form his regiments in a line of reserve. During the execution of these movements General Porter's troops came out of the woods in pretty good order, bringing a great number of wounded with them. In answer to my question why they were retiring after so short a time, they said that "they were out of ammunition." Expecting that the enemy would follow up this retrograde movement of whole with a strong force, kept my troops well together to meet such an event.

Thus we stood when, suddenly, incessant volleys of musketry betrayed the enemy in great force on our left, and showed clearly his real plan of attack. To assist Colonel McLean's brigade on our left I directed General Milroy to join his brigade with that of Colonel McLean. In executing this order, however, General Milroy directed his brigade more to the rear and left than was intended by me, so that by this disposition an interval of several hundred paces was left between these two brigades, by which the enemy penetrated, attacking Colonel McLean's troops in the rear, and compelling them to change their front to the left. They thereby partially evacuated the position they had occupied on the hill. It was at this moment that General Schenck was severely wounded at the head of his troops, whom he had repeatedly led forward against the overwhelming masses of the enemy.

When this was the condition of affairs on our left, General Reynolds, who at the beginning of the battle had deployed his troops in front and to the left of Colonel McLean's brigade, changed his position, and withdrew his battery from a hill to the left of the Gainesville turnpike, near Groveton. The enemy immediately took possession of the hill, posted a battery there, and spread his infantry out over the high and wooded ground before Colonel McLean's brigade and on the flank and almost in rear of our center. To dislodge the enemy from his new-gained position I ordered forward three regiments of infantry, under Colonel Koltes, who, under a terrible artillery and infantry fire, boldly advanced against the hills, but could not regain the lost ground.

In this attack I have to regret the loss od the intrepid Colonel Koltes, who was killed while executing the movement ordered. His brigade, though nearly decimated, succeeded in protecting our center and preventing the turning of our flank.

it was now evident that to avoid the destruction of our troops from the sweep of the enemy's batteries, and as the main attack was now on our left, I ordered General Schurz to withdraw his division from the low ground, under cover of our artillery, and take position on the hills near the stone house, one brigade to face toward the left. The brigade of General Stahel followed this movement, and formed in line of battle on our right. Immediately in front of this position, on a hill to the right (north) of the stone house, I placed a battery of the Fourth Regulars, which I had met on the turnpike. This battery behaved nobly, and maintained its position until the last hour. Captain Dilger's battery occupied a more advanced position near Groveton, Captain Dieckmann's was on our left, and Captain Schirmer's on our right, with General Stahel's brigade.

General Milroy, with his brigade, and the assistance of several additional regiments which he had brought forward, succeeded in repulsing the enemy on the left. In this gallant exploit his horse was shot under him. We maintained our second position until night had closed in upon us, when General Pope ordered a general retreat.

Following the troops of Generals Porter and McDowell, my corps crossed Young's Branch, where it remained for two hours, until the commands of Generals McDowell, Reno, and Kearny, had crossed Bull