extreme left also opened upon us. Shell, grape, and canister swept from left to right. The practice of the enemy was rapid and very accurate, and in a short time our loss was very heavy, and the dead and wounded encumbered our ranks. They were carried to the rear to a temporary hospital, where Asst. Surg. Richard Curran, Thirty-third New York Volunteers, was assiduous in his attention to the wounded. About 4.30 o'clock Captain Upton, chief of artillery of Slocum's division, rode to my line, and after we had examined the ground in front of the left attentively, I decided to accept the battery which he earnestly advised me to have planted there. Not a minute could be lost; the enemy were massing in front with the evident design of throwing a powerful column against my left, and they could not be seen, except from that part of the line. I instantly sent word to Major-General Smith, who approved the movement, and I requested Captain upton to order up the battery, which came into action very promptly, and opened with three rifled guns, which, after playing on the masses of the enemy with great effect for half an hour, were withdrawn, and their places supplied by a battery of Napoleon guns, the fire of which was terribly destructive. These guns were of inestimable value to us, and the coolness and precision with which they were served deserve the highest commendation. It gives me very great pleasure to acknowledge how much I was indebted to Captain Upton, and to the officers and men under his command.
When the battery was in full play, a skirt of wood on my left and front was occupied by sharpshooters, whom, for the protection of the battery, it was necessary to dislodge. The Seventh Maine, under its gallant major (Thomas W. Hyde), was sent forward for this purpose, which they executed in admirable style. the regiment advanced in front of the skirmishers of the brigade on the left. The major threw out skirmishers, who soon drove in those of the rebels from the edge of the corn-field, and the hollow lying this side the timber. The battalion was ordered forward, and ad the enemy opened fire on it from the front and left flank, a charge was ordered, and, with fixed bayonets, the men rushed forward in line with a cheer, advancing nearly a quarter of a mile at the double-quick. The body of the enemy in the orchard to the left being flanked, broke and ran. Those directly in front, behind hay-stacks and outbuildings, also broke, and their colors having fallen, this gallant regiment pushed on up the hill to secure them, when a rebel regiment suddenly rose from behind a stone wall on its right, poured in a volley, and at the same time they double-quicked around to the left, to cut off the retreat. Those in front, seeing the small numbers of the enemy, had rallied, and the enemy advanced in force. Four of their rebel flags were seen, and a battery opened upon the regiment with grape, from which, however, they were partly shielded by the trees in the orchard.
Finding the regiment so severely engaged, I was very anxious to support them, but my orders were positive not to advance my line. I rode rapidly forward, and requested the officer commanding the right regiment of the Second Brigade to support Major Hyde, which he declined to do without orders from General Brooks. I then returned to my own line to ask for a support from the rear, but in a few minutes I had the extreme pleasure of seeing the shattered but brave remnant of the Seventh Maine in good order return to my lines.
No words of mine can do justice to the firmness, intelligence, and heroic courage with which this regiment performed its dangerous task. Their killed and wounded and their colors riddled by balls are the