and Hofmann's brigades. The latter, however, was left as a guard to our batteries in rear, which were opposing the attempt of some rebel batteries of enfilade our lines. Hofmann's brigade was ordered forward at a later period of the action, but General Hooker directed it to remain, as the guns there were doing excellent service in silencing the enemy's artillery. On this account two additional rifled guns were sent to him, and were supported in their advanced position by the Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers, under Major Pye, of that regiment.
I now sent General Gibbon's brigade forward to commence the attack on the enemy's position, followed by Phelps' brigade, as a support, and about twenty minutes afterward Patrick's brigade was also sent forward, by order of General Hooker. Gibbon advanced in column of division on the left of the Hagerstown turnpike until he reached an open space. He then deployed the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers on the right and the Second Wisconsin Volunteers on the left, and threw them forward into a corn-field in his front. A section of Campbell's battery, under Lieutenant Stewart, was also brought into action on an eminence in rear, to fire over the heads of the troops, in answer to the enemy's batteries in front. The two regiments pushed gallantly forward, supported by the Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers and the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers. After a short engagement, General Gibbon saw that his line would probably be flanked on the right from the woods, which extended down in that direction. To meet this contingency, he ordered up a section of Campbell's battery, and directed the Seventh Wisconsin and Nineteenth Indiana Regiments to cross the road, deploy on the right of the others, and push forward rapidly into the woods. His entire brigade soon became hotly engaged. In the mean time Phelps' brigade had followed that of Gibbon, and when it reached the open space already referred to, beyond the woods where Campbell's battery was posted, it moved by the flank and deployed forward into a corn-field in rear of Gibbon's command. Phelps' position being some 90 paces in front of the battery, as soon as Gibbon's brigade became engaged, Phelps moved his line up, and formed about 25 paces in his rear. Observing that the enemy's line now formed a crotchet, which partially flanked Gibbon's line, Colonel Phelps ordered Colonel Post, who was in command of the Second Regiment of U. S. Sharpshooters, to move to the right and front, advance his left, and engage that portion of the enemy's line that flanked ours. In this engagement the Sharpshooters suffered severely, and Colonel Post was wounded, after capturing two battle-flags from the enemy. While this was going on, I sent Patrick's brigade to follow the two others. It advanced, and for a short time took post in the same corn-field as a support. A strong enfilading fire, as has already been stated, came from the woods against our troops in the corn-field. To meet this, I directed General Patrick to occupy and hold the woods, detaching, however, one of his regiments to support Campbell's battery, a section of which had moved forward to the road in the vicinity of a barn and some haystacks.
I stated in the first part of this report that the Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers and Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers moved into the woods to drive off the enemy, who were acting against our right flank. This movement was simultaneous with that of Patrick's brigade, all crossing the road and moving forward into the woods at the same time. The two regiments named took position in advance of, and parallel to, the rest of Gibbon's line. Patrick's three regiments had scarcely taken position in the woods before a body of the enemy appeared on their right, guarding a battery of light guns they had posted there. General Hooker directed that one of Patrick's regiments be sent to watch this battery, and the