Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, and Twenty-eighth New York constituting the right, with the new regiments (One hundred and twenty-eighth, One hundred and twenty-fifth, and one hundred and twenty-fourth) on the left. It was the understanding that the latter three regiments should move to the front when wanted, and the old ones (the Forty sixth Pennsylvania, Tenth Maine, and Twenty-eighth New York) should follow at a proper distance in the rear, constituting, as it were, a reserve for the brigade. This plan was not carried out, and after remaining for upward of thirty minutes in the position described, the entire brigade was marched to the front, in column of division, to relieve the troops of General Hooker, who had up to this time borne the brunt of battle on the right. In this march of half a mile, the Tenth Maine, which had been on the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania, by some means for which I cannot account got on the left of it, and both, with the Twenty-eight New York, in advance of the One hundred and twenty-forth, One hundred and twenty-fifth, and One hundred and twenty-eighth Pennsylvania. On emerging from the woods, the columbus of the three advance regiments were deployed, and immediately opened upon the enemy, who were in strong force in a corn-field about 250 yards from our front.
While in this position, the One hundred and twenty-eighth Pennsylvania came up and took position on the right of the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, still massed in column of company. Colonel Croasdale, its commander, fell dead while endeavoring to deploy it into line of battle, and Lieutenant-Colonel Hammersly was so severely wounded in the arm at the same time as to be obliged to leave the field. At this moment, seeing the uselessness of a regiment in that position, I took the responsibility of getting it into line of battle the best way circumstances would admit. When this was accomplished, I returned to my own regiment and ordered an advance, which was gallantly made as far as the fence of the corn-field. This position would have been held, and the advance continued in face of the leaden hail which was fast decimating our ranks, had it not been for the Twenty-seventh Indiana forming in our rear and exposing us to a fire from a quarter unexpected. I immediately ordered my command to fall back to the woods, when I met General Williams, then in command of the corps (General mansfield having been carried to the rear mortally wounded), who ordered the regiments to retire to the rear of the woods and then reform. On our march to the position designated, we were met by re-enforcements of General Summer's command, I think, hastening to the front. My regiments (what was left of them) formed in their immediate rear, and, with them, went into and through the corn-field and into the one lying beyond it. Having by this movement completely driven the enemy out of the open fields into the woods beyond, it was deemed inexpedient to proceed farther, and the whole force reclined upon the ground to avoid the fire of the enemy's artillery.
While in this position, I noticed that the One hundred and twenty- fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers had advanced into the field beyond our position and into the woods occupied by the enemy. At the same time a brigade came out of them to our rear, and, passing us, joined the One hundred and twenty-fifth, and engaged the enemy, who had been reenforced to such an extent as to compel our troops to retrace their steps in confusion of not in panic. At this junction a battery was place I in position to cover the retreat of our forces, and poured in the advancing and dense masses of the enemy a tremendous fire of grape and canister. Notwithstanding the huge gaps made in their ranks, the rebels continued to advance, and threatened the capture of the battery.