War of the Rebellion: Serial 027 Page 0496 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXI.

Search Civil War Official Records

The loss in the Second Massachusetts was severe. Here fell, mortally wounded, Lieutenant Colonel Wilder Dwight, of this regiment, bravely fighting for his country. An official paper is not the place to express the sadness the death of this gallant officer brings to the regiment, in which his presence wa so much felt, as well as to many friends serving in the army, to whom he was much endeared.

I halted my command to report to you, sir, the position, of the enemy, and was ordered to form a supporting line behind batteries in position on the left. The rebel lines again advancing, I then forwarded a portion of my brigade to support those nearly in front while the One hundred and seventh New York Regiment was directed to support Captain Cothran's battery on the left. This fine regiment, but just organized and brought into the field, in this battle for the first time under fire, moved with steadiness to its perilous position, and maintained its ground until recalled, though exposed to a front fire from the enemy and a fire over its head from batteries in its rear.

About this time, in the order of events as marauded, I received an urgent call from General Greene, commanding the Second Division of our corps, to send him any re-enforcements I might have and could spare General Greene at this time was gallantly holding a portion of the woods to the left, the right of which was held by the enemy in force. I directed the thirteenth New Jersey, Colonel Carmay to support him . This regiment, also for the first time this day under fire, moved boldly and in an orderly manner toward General Greene's position, and I am much gratfield to report that the general has spoken to me of their conduct in terms of high commendation. The services of my brigade during a portion of the remainder of the day were confined to forming a supporting line to fresher troops in our front.

Again however, late int he afternoon, was I called into action a direct order, addressed in person by General McClellan to my brigade, to support General Franklin in his intended movement to the front upon the disputed woods. In conformity with this order, I formed by brigade a line of battle directly in rear of General Newton's brigade, of General Franklin's corps, and enacted orders from that officer, to whom I had sent a staff officer to report my position.

Captain Wheaten, my aide, immediately brought me an order to move any brigade to the support of a battery on the contested field, somewhat to the left and about 300 yards to the front of the position I then occupied.

The absence of General Crawford from the field, by reason of a slight wound, place me at this time in command of the First Division of the corps. Turning over the command of my brigade to Colonel Ruger of the Third Wisconsin, I conducted him to his assigned position, which he held during the night of the 17th instant. The First Brigade (Crawford's) of my division, commanded by Colonel Knipe, of the Forty-sixth Pennsylvania Regiment was draw up in line of battle, also supporting General Franklin's line to the right of my original position.

Early in the morning the position of my division was again changed to the same direction, but somewhat in advance of the position of the evening before, supporting General Franklin. I held this line during the day and night of the 18th instant. The morning of the 19th revealed the fact the enemy had fled under cover of the night.

Thus terminated a bloody and obstinate contest. From sunrise to sunset the waves of battle abound and flowed. Men wrestled with each other in lines of regiment, brigade, and division faded away under a terrible fire, leaving long lines