was also withdrawn by your order from the north of the turnpike to the Henry House Hill.
The attack on the Bald Ridge line had been too severe for the troops to hold it long under the hot fire the enemy maintained upon it. Jackson's brigade, of Reynolds' division; McLean's, of Schenck's, and Tower's two brigades, of Ricketts' division, were, after heavy losses, little by little compelled to yield it, General Schenck and General Tower receiving severe wounds, the former in the arm, the latter in the left knee, as they were encouraging and leading on their men. Colonel Fletcher Webster, Twelfth Massachusetts, and Captain Fessenden, aide to General Tower, were mortally wounded.
Though we lost this position, it had been held long enough to aid in protecting the retreat of our men from the front, who as they came in, either formed behind it or in rear of the line on the north of the turnpike. It was the only position on the left from which we were forced, and its loss reflects no discredit on those who held it, for they yielded to the overwhelming force of the whole right of the enemy's army, which was concentrated on them after our advance had been driven back. The troops immediately north of the Warrenton turnpike the commenced falling back.
On going to the turnpike where it ascends from the bridge over Young's Branch to the top of the hill to the right and rear of the Henry House Hill, to see to the placing of some troops which I thought might be of King's division, of my corps, coming there from the front, I found Brigadier General Carl Schurz with some of General Sigel's corps drawn up by the road. The general spoke to me concerning the posting of a battery then out of position, which I caused to be placed so as to be of use in case we should be forced from the Henry House Hill as we had been from the Bald Hill, but with warning they were not fire till after our men should have left the position in front. Seeing them commence loading, I sent a captain on my staff to warn the battery not to fire except on the contingency mentioned. I refer to this incident, as it may have served as a foundation for one of the strange stories that soon after became prevalent as to this battle.
I annex hereto an extract of General Schurz' report and a correspondence which grew out of it, from which it will be seen that the general says "he did not mean what he seems to have said." [See Appendix B.]
Leaving General Schurz drawn up on the hill, I went to the left, where the corps of General Porter, or the larger part of it that came out of the fight in front, had been formed in double line, and when near Sykes' division of regulars Brigadier-General Milroy - a gallant officer, of General Sigel's corps - came riding up a state of absolute frenzy, with his sword drawn, and gesticulating at some distance off, shouting to send forward re-enforcements, to save the day, to save the country, &c. His manner, his dealing in generalities, which gave no information whatever, and which, in the way he uttered them, only showed him as being in a state of mind as unfit to judge of events as to command men and as being away from his command, caused me to receive him coldly.
It was a question with me whether we could hold the Henry House Hill - whether to break the line of reserve at this time or hold the position they then occupied. It was a question of importance, on which I should have liked to consult you, the general-in-chief, before deciding - the more so as I had reason to think this line had been established under your own orders, given direct. But you were farther over to the left, and the case had to be determined at once.