on the crest of the hill, not far from Dogan's. The artillery fire of the enemy had now become quiet severe, and our troops, densely massed upon the open ground behind Dogan's farm-house, were greatly annoyed by the shot and shell dropping among them, but remained entirely firm.
A little after 4 o'clock we saw General Porter's troops, who had been engaged in our front, leave their position and retire in the direction of the place we occupied. Your ordered Colonel McLean to occupy the bald-headed hill in our left front, and General Stahel's forwarded to receive and support the retreating troops, who then passed through the intervals of my division and partly formed again behind me. About the same time General Reynold's troops, who had occupied the heights in our front and left, fell back, and the enemy, after having obliged them to retire, planted a battery upon the high ground abandoned by them, directly opposite us,and opened a most disagreeable fire upon my three brigades. I ordered Captain Dilger to move his battery a little to the left and to open upon the enemy's battery above mentioned, which was done.
When Stahel's brigade had become engaged your ordered me to send Colonel Koltes forward to the support of its left, and a few minutes afterward, seeing Koltes hotly received and severely pressed, I ordered slopes on my left, in order to prevent Koltes from being turned on that side. This orders was executed with great promptness and spirit.
But the heights on my left were soon abandoned by General Reynolds' troops, and my two brigades (Koltes' and Krzyzanowski's) found themselves severely pressed in front by overwhelming forces, exposed to a most destructive artillery fire, and turned by the enemy in their left and rear. The contest was sharp in the extreme. The gallant Koltes died a noble death at the head of his brave regiments. Colonel Krzyzanowski, while showing his men how to face the enemy, had his horse shot under him, and the ground was soon covered with our dead and wounded. When it had become evident that we on that spot were fighting alone and unsupported against immensely superior numbers, your ordered me to withdraw my division, and to take a position facing toward the left and front, on the next range of hills behind the stone house, which was the natural second position on this battle-field.
I gave the necessary orders at once. The regiments of Koltes' and Krzyzanowski's brigades came out of the fire in a very shattered condition. Their losses had been enormous. I had left Colonel Schimmelfenning's brigade with Captain Dilger's battery on my right in reserve. They were exposed to a very heavy artillery fire, especially when the enemy had succeeded in establishing a battery of two pieces directly on our left, enfilading our whole front; but the men stood like trees until the order to retire reached them. They then fell back slowly and in good order. Captain Dilger's battery remained in position to check the pursuit of the enemy, whose infantry rushed upon him with great rapidity. He received them in two different positions, at short range, with a shower of grape-shot, obliged them twice to fall back, and then followed our column unmolested. His conduct cannot be praised too highly. When ascending the hill you had indicated to me as a rallying point we found that the troops who after the first repulse had rallied immediately behind us had disappeared; that the whole left with of our army had given way, and that the enemy was rolling heavy masses of infantry after the retreating columns toward