sylvania Rifles (Bucktails) was advanced as skirmishers to a piece of woods on our left, and four companies of the Third Regiment Pennsylvania Reserves were deployed as skirmishers and sent into a piece of woods on our right, the main column formed of battalions in mass, division front, with the artillery moving over the open ground for a high ridge in front.
The Bucktails' skirmishers finding the enemy, General Seymour, with the First Brigade, was directed to advance to their support. This was promptly done, and soon Seymour was closely engaged with the enemy's infantry and artillery, Cooper's battery being posted by Seymour to reply to the enemy's artillery. In the mean time I had gained the crest with be in its direction perpendicular to the line along which Seymour had advanced. On entering these woods, the enemy's battery could be plainly seen in a corn field, playing on Seymour's column in their front. The masses of his infantry deployed around the battery, and the fact that only one regiment - the head of my column - was deployed, deterred me from the endeavor to capture the battery by a charge. I, however, immediately ordered up Ransom's battery of light 12-pounders, who promptly came to the front and in battery at the edge of the woods, opening on the enemy's battery and infantry a destructive enfilading fire, which soon caused him to withdraw his guns to an eminence in the rear, from which he commenced shelling the woods we occupied, and the ridge immediately behind it.
In the mean time Magilton's and Anderson's (Second and Third) brigades came up, and were deployed in line of battle to support Ransom's battery. After riving the enemy from the woods, Seymour held his own, and, darkness intervening, the contest closed for the night, Seymour holding the woods immediately in front of the enemy, and Anderson and Magilton the woods on their flank. Ransom was withdrawn to the rear. Cooper remained in the position occupied in the commencement of the action, and Simpson's battery of howitzers, which had been posted on the ridge to the rear, replying to the enemy's battery in its second position, also remained there.
During the night the enemy made two attacks on Seymour's pickets, in both of which he was repulsed with, it is believed, severe loss.
At early daylight on the 17th the contest was warmly renewed by Seymour, the enemy attacking him with vigor. The general commanding the corps had sent Ricketts' division to Seymour's support, and had advanced Doubleday's division along the woods occupied by Magilton's and Anderson's brigades. These brigades were formed in column of battalions in mass, and were moved forward in rear of Doubleday. Seymour and Ricketts advancing through one piece of woods, and Doubleday, on their right, advancing along the Hagerstown pike, left an open space between, in which was a plowed field and an orchard; beyond this was a corn-field, the possession of which the enemy warmly disputed.
Ransom's battery was advanced into the open ground between the two advancing columns, and played with great effect on the enemy's infantry and batteries. The brigades of Anderson and Magilton on reaching the corn-field were massed in a ravine extending up to the pike. Soon after forming, I saw the enemy were driving our men from the corn-field. I immediately deployed both brigades, and formed line of battle along the fence bordering the corn-field, for the purpose of covering the withdrawal of our people and resisting the farther advance of the enemy. Just as this line of battle was formed, I received an