War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0298 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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drawing my right nearer to the left, so as to make room for him on the right. I gave my orders to Colonel Schimmelfenning accordingly. A short time afterward I discovered that two small regiments sent to my support had slipped in between my two brigades, and were occupying part of my line in the woods. General Kearny was just moving up his troops on my right when the enemy made another furious charge upon my center. The two regiments above mentioned, as well as the Fifty-fourth New York, broke, and were thrown out of the woods in disorder, the enemy advancing rapidly and in great force to the edge of the forest. The Twenty-ninth New York poured several volleys into them, checking the pursuit of the enemy only a for moment, and then fell back in good order. The moment was critical. While endeavoring to rally my men again I sent orders to the battery of the Second Brigade, which I had placed in position in the rear of my left wing, to open fire upon the enemy, who threatened to come out of the woods. This was done with very good effect, and the enemy was brought to a stand almost instantaneously. Meanwhile I succeeded in forming the Fifty-fourth New York again, whose commander Lieutenant-Colonel Ashby, displayed much courage and determination, and placed it en echelon behind the Twenty-ninth New York, which advanced in splendid style upon the enemy in our center. My extreme right, under Colonel Schimmelfenning, had stood firm, with the exception of the Eighth Virginia, while the extreme left, under Colonel Krzyzanowski, had contested every inch of ground against the heavy pressure of a greatly superior force. The conduct of the Seventy-fifth Pennsylvania, which displayed the greatest firmness and preserved perfect order on that occasion, deploying and firing with the utmost regularity, deserve special praise.

The Twenty-ninth New York and the Fifty-fourth New York had just re-entered the woods when one of your aides presented to me for perusal a letter which you had addressed to General Kearny, requesting him to attack at once with his whole force, as the rebel general Longstreet, who was expected to re-enforce the enemy during the day, had not yet arrived upon the battle-field, and we might hope to gain decisive advantages before his arrival. I then ordered a general advance of my whole line, which was executed with great gallantry, the enemy yielding everywhere before us. In this charge the Twenty-ninth New York distinguished itself by its firmness and intrepidity. Its commander, Colonel Soest, while setting a noble example to his men, was wounded and compelled to leave the field. On my right, however, where General Kearny had taken position, all remained quiet, and it became clear to me that he had not followed your request to attack simultaneously with me. I am persuaded if General Kearny had done at that moment what he did so gallantly late in the afternoon-that is to say, if he had thrown his column upon the enemy's left flank, enveloping the latter by a change of direction to the left-we might have succeeded in destroying the enemy's left wing, and thus gained decisive results before General Longstreet's arrival. As it was, I advanced and attacked alone. The fight came to a stand on my left at an old railroad embankment running through the woods in a direction almost parallel to our front. From behind this cover the enemy poured a rapid and destructive fire into our infantry, who returned volley for volley. Colonel Schimmelfenning's brigade on my right gained possession of this embankment and advanced even beyond it, but found itself obliged by a very severe artillery and infantry fire to fall back; but the embankment remained in its possession.

While this was going on the battery of the First Brigade, under Captain