Second on the left, the Third deployed, and the Second marching by the right flank immediately behind the left of the line formed by two regiments of the Third Brigade, under command of Colonel Carr. Coming to a piece of woods running across the railroad, the First Brigade was halted and the Third and Second continued to advance. As the line of Colonel Carr cleared the woods he came in contact with the enemy's skirmishers, which he at once drove in and advanced in double-quick to the middle of the field and at once engaged the enemy's infantry, drawn up in line in a skirt of woods immediately in front. Finding no enemy on the left, and that the line of Colonel Carr was exposed to a very extended and concentrated fire, I at once brought forward the Second Fourth, and Fifth Regiments of the brigade, and placed them in position on the left of the line formed by Colonel Carr.
While doing this I observed a column of the enemy's infantry file down the hill in front and take position parallel to and on the right of the railroad and to the rear of the line formed by a portion of the Third Brigade and three regiments of the Second. This gave them an enfilading fire, and will account for the large loss of officers. To relieve the line from this destructive fire I changed the front of the two regiments (First and Third), then forming a second line, and advanced it toward the railroad (I will remark that the track of the railroad was at this place so graded as to form an excellent cover for the enemy), halted it within short musket-range, and commenced firing. At this time our lines were exposed to the concentrated fire of two sections of the enemy's artillery, besides their musketry. The following diagram* will illustrate the positions of the contestants at this time. To relieve the infantry from the fire of the enemy's artillery I rode to the rear to bring forward one of our own batteries. Meeting General Grover, I explained matters to him, when he hold me I might order up the Second New Hampshire Volunteers to support the battery. Finding the commandant of an unoccupied battery, I informed him of what I desired. He very reluctantly consented, and was so slow in his movements that when he got his battery in position the necessity of his services had ceased. The line which I had formed parallel to and facing the railroad, after firing for a time, advanced up to and drove the enemy from that position, when the enemy gave way and retreated toward Manassas Junction.
The loss in this short, but sharp, engagement to this brigade was considerable in proportion to its numbers, being about one in three. Having disposed of the killed and wounded, the brigade line was reformed on the right of the railroad and, by order of General Grover, held in reserve, while the other brigades continued to advance. The brigade remained here but a short time, when it was ordered forward a short distance, when it was ordered to the left of the railroad, and forded Broad Run, where it bivouacked that night in line.
The next morning (28th) we resumed our march and passed Manassas Junction, and bivouacked on the south bank of Bull Run.
The next morning (29th) the march was resumed, passing through Centreville. We arrived on the battle ground about 2 p.m. Here the brigade was halted for a short time, when it was ordered forward again about half a mile, when it was again halted. We remained here for some time, when we were ordered forward to support a battery; but before the brigade was got in position the order was changed, and I was directed by Major-General Hooker to advance in line through a piece of woods, which seemed to be the center of the enemy's position, to