War of the Rebellion: Serial 016 Page 0416 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA. AND MD. Chapter XXIV.

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Brigade, on his right, partly in line and partly in support, and kept Birney's most disciplined regiments reserved and ready for emergencies. Toward noon I was obliged to occupy a quarter of a mile additional on left of said road, from Schurz' troops being taken elsewhere.

During the first hours of combat General Birney, on tired regiments in the center falling back, of his own accord rapidly pushed across to give them a hand to raise themselves to a renewed fight. In early after noon General Pope's order, per General Roberts, was to send a pretty strong force diagonally to the front to relieve the center in the woods from pressure. Accordingly I detached for that purpose General Robinson, with his brigade; the Sixty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Hays; the One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Captain Craig; the Twentieth Indiana, Colonel Brown, and, additionally, the Third Michigan Marksmen, under Colonel Champlin. General Robinson drove forward for several hundred yards, but the center of the main battle being shortly after driven back and out of the woods, my detachments, thus exposed, so considerably in front of all others, both flanks in air, was obliged to cease to advance, and confine themselves to holding their own. At 5 o'clock, thinking-though at the risk of exposing my fighting line to being enfiladed-that I might drive the enemy by an unexpected attack through the woods, I brought up additionally the most of Birney's regiments-the Fourth Maine, Colonel Walker and Lieutenant-Colonel Carver; the Fortieth New York, Colonel Egan; First New York, Major Burt, and One hundred and first New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Gesner-and changed front to the left, to sweep with a rush the first line of the enemy. This was most successful. The enemy rolled up on his own right. It presaged a victory for us all. Still our force was too light. The enemy brought up rapidly heavy reserves, so that our farther progress was impeded. General Stevens came up gallantly in action to support us, but did not have the numbers.

On the morning of the 30th General Ricketts, with two brigades, relieved me of my extra charge of the left of the road, and I again concentrated my command. We took no part in the fighting of the morning, although we lost men by an enfilading fire of the enemy's batteries. A sudden and unaccountable evacuation of the field by the left center occurring about 5 p.m., on orders from General Pope I massed my troops at the indicated point, but soon reoccupied with Birney's brigade, supported by Robinson's, a very advanced block of woods. The key-point of this new line rested on the brown house, toward creek. This was held by regiments of other brigades. Soon however, themselves attacked, they ceded ground, and retired without warning us. I maintained my position until 10 p.m., when, in connection with General Reno and General Gibbon-assigned to the rear guard-I retired my brigades.

My command arrived at Centreville in good order at 2 a.m. this morning and encamped in front of the Centreville forts. My loss in killed and wounded is over 750-about one in three; in some regiments engaged a great deal severer; in the Third Michigan, 140 our of 260. One taken prisoners, except my engineer officer, who returned to the house supposed to be held by the troops alluded to.

It makes me proud to dwell on the renewed efforts of my generals of brigade, Birney and Robinson. My regiments all did well, and the remiss in camp seemed brightest in the field. Besides my old tried regiment, who have been previously noted in former actions and maintained their prestige, I have to mark the One hundred and first New