of musketry, that the enemy were advancing. Their shouts of exultation could be distinctly battalion, sustained on the right by Crawford's brigade and on the left by Greene's division, both of our own corps, advanced boldly to the front. Before the impetuous charge and the withering fief of our line, the enemy halted, wavered fled in confusion, and sought shelter in the woods opposite from whence he hand emerged. I immediately ordered the One hundred and seventh New York to support the movement of my advance line, at the same time siding my aide, Captain Wheaten, to bring up the Thirteenth New Jersey. We now held possession of the field, had driven the enemy into the concealment of the woods, and, by a partial change of front forward on our left, were advancing toward the center of the general line of battle.
General Mansfield had been mortally wounded at the commencement of the action while making a bold reconnaissance of the woods, through which we had just dashed. The command of the corps here devolved upon you.
My brigade was now drawn up in two lines. In the first, the Second Massachusetts and the One hundred and seventh New York Regiments; in the rear, the Third Wisconsin and Twenty-seventh Indiana. These latter regiments had suffered considerable. In the others the casualties had been unusually light. We were at this time re-enforced by General Summer's corps, who, coming with shouts to the field, pushed across into the woods containing the enemy, and engaged him with ardor.
By your direction, I formed my brigade in line of battle in the edge of the woods through which we had charged. General Summer's corps soon became warmly engaged. It was apparent that the rebels had received very strong re-enforcements. The tide of battle again turned. Our forces were compelled to fall slowly back behind batteries posted front of the woods the enemy had tried vainly to enter. More than driving our forces from the woods the enemy did not essay or if he did was foiled. The nest movement of my brigade I am called on to report was ordered by General Summer, through you It was to move up toward the woods in front, to support the troops there. The order, most urgent and imperative, furnished the only information I possessed that our forces had again entered the woods in our front. I deemed it of the utmost importance that my command should move forward with the least possible delay. I therefore in person gave the order to the regiment nearest me, without the formation of my entire brigade, intending to brig up other regiments to support or continue the line, as circumstances might require.
The Second Massachusetts and the Thirteenth New Jersey Regiments were immediately put in motion. The Third Wisconsin and Twenty-seventh Indiana Regiments, which, as before stated, had suffered seriously in a previous encounter with the enemy, were lying about 200 yards in front, concealed from the view of the enemy by a slight ridge. The One hundred and seventh New York was posted some distance to the left. The Second Massachusetts and Thirteenth New Jersey pushed forward, with great alacrity, sufficiently far to find that the troops to be supported had retire, that a large force of the enemy lay concealed in the woods, while a not inconsiderable number showed themselves in the open field beyond. These regiments were received with a galling fire, which they sustained and returned for a brief period, then fell back upon their supports. So strong was the enemy, that an addition of any force I could command would only have caused further sacrifice, without gain.