batteries, and occupied its position during the remainder of the action, sometimes under very heavy cannonading.
The Second Brigade (General Brooks') was for a short time retained on General Sumner's right, by his orders, but just after my arrival on the field General French reported his ammunition exhausted, and General Brooks was ordered to re-enforce him. His brigade took position on the right of General French. It remained in this position during the action. General Brooks was slightly wounded in the face by a musket-ball.
The Third Brigade (Colonel Irwin's) was placed by General Smith between Generals Hancock's and Brooks' position, and was scarcely in line when it was ordered forward to meet a charge of the enemy. It drove the enemy handsomely as far as the wood which had already been so hotly contested, suffering severe loss. Its success insured the safety of that part of the field during the remainder of the day, as no other infantry attack was made there. This brigade was relieved early next morning by one of General Couch's.
Slocum's division arrived on the field about 11 o'clock. Immediately after its arrival two of his brigades (Newton's and Torbert's) were formed in column of attack, to carry the wood in the immediate vicinity of the white church. The other brigade (Bartlett's) had been ordered by General Sumner to keep near his right. As this brigade was to form the reserve for the column of attack, I waited it camp up. About the same time General Sumner arrived on the spot, and directed the attack to be postponed, and the enemy at once proceeded to fill the wood with infantry, and planted a battery there, which opened a severe fire upon us. Shortly afterward the commanding general came to the position and decided that it would not be prudent to make the attack, our position on the right being then considerably in advance of what it had been in the morning. The division, therefore, held its place until it was finally removed on the 19th. On two occasions during the afternoon of the 17th the enemy opened upon us from the wood with an artillery fire. In each case their fire was soon silenced, and, it appeared from an examination of the ground afterward, with heavy loss of artillery and men.
General Couch's division had been ordered by the commanding general to repair to the field after it had made a long march toward Maryland Heights, and accordingly arrived there early on the morning of the 18th. It was posted on the left of General Slocum's division, and one of his brigades (General Cochrane's) relieved Colonel Irwin's, of Smith's division.
In this position, suffering severe cannonading at intervals, which they bore like the veterans they are, my command remained without change until daylight on the 19th, when a general advance was made by the pickets, under orders from headquarters. This advance revealed the fact that the enemy had retreated during the night.
The batteries of the corps, under command of Captain Ayres and Lieutenant Upton, were splendidly served and did excellent execution.
I regret to announce the death of Surgeon White, medical director of the corps, who was killed while we were examining the point of woods which we expected to attack. He had been attached to my staff, and his loss will be severely felt by the medical corps. His place was taken by Assistant Surgeon Bradley, U. S. Army, who fulfilled the arduous duties brought on by the battle in the ablest and most efficient manner. A list of the other casualties has already been transmitted to headquarters.