War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0270 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

order from the general commanding the corps to detach a brigade to reenforce our troops in the woods on the left. I directed Magilton's bridge to move in that direction, which order was promptly executed, notwithstanding the brigade, moving by the flank, was subjected to a warm fire from the corn-field.

Anderson's brigade still held the fence on the right, but the gap made by the withdrawal of Magilton was soon filled by the enemy, whose infantry advanced boldly through the corn-field to the woods. Seeing this, I rode up to Ransom's battery and directed his guns on their advancing column, which fire, together with the arrival of Magilton's brigade, in connection with Seymour and Ricketts, drove the enemy back, who, as they retreated, were enfiladed by Anderson, who eventually regained the crest of the ridge in the corn-field. At this time, about 10 a. m., my division had been engaged for five hours, and their ammunition was being exhausted. I therefore welcomed the arrival of Banks' corps, the left column of which, commanded by the gallant Mans-field, moved up to our support in the woods on the left, and a column under General Williams moved up to the woods on the right by the turnpike.

I should have mentioned previously that the Tenth Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Warner, was detached across the pike to watch our right flank, and was eventually, I believe, put in action by General Gibbon, rendering good service in that part of the field; also that Cooper's battery of 3-inch guns and Simpson's howitzers were early in the morning posted on the crest of the ridge we occupied the evening previous, from whence they had a command of the enemy's left flank, and were in action at various times during the day, opening whenever they saw any of the enemy's artillery or infantry, and doing good service in protecting our hospital and trains in the rear. Between 11 and 12 a. m., Mansfield's corps having reached the scene of action, also Sumner's, the corps had the misfortune to lose the services of its skillful and brave commander, who was wounded in the foot, and who did me the honor to direct me to assume the command of the corps on his leaving the field. I directed the various divisions to be withdrawn as soon as they were relieved, and to be assembled and reorganized on the ridge in our rear. By 2 p. m. the division of the Pennsylvania Reserves, now commanded by General Seymour, were organized on this ridge, supplied with ammunition, and held in readiness to repel an attack if the enemy should attempt one on our right flank, and assist in any advance we might make.

I beg leave to refer to the reports of the several brigade and regimental commanders for the details of the operations. I desire particularly, however, to call your attention to the report of Brigadier-General Seymour, because, from the confidence I placed in the judgment and military skill of that officer, I left entirely to him the management and direction of his brigade, the first in action and the only one engaged with the infantry on the afternoon of the 16th, and the first to commence and the last to leave on the 17th. I desire to commend most particularly to your notice the gallantry and good conduct of this officer, which I have no doubt you observed yourself.

I feel it also due to the memory of a gallant soldier and accomplished gentleman to express here my sense of the loss to the public service in the fall of Colonel Hugh McNeil, of the First Pennsylvania Rifles, who fell mortally wounded, while in the front rank, bravely leading on and encouraging his men, on the afternoon of the 16th. Many other brave and gallant soldiers were killed and wounded, for whose names I refer you to the accompanying list. The division went into action under