advance to the front with my brigade and test the fact. I immediately obeyed his order. My men leaped over their breastworks, formed their lines, and moved to the front with a veteran steadiness and determination. The enemy had again shown himself upon our front, and that at closer proximity than at any time during this or the preceding day.
Stone's battery had opened fire upon such a line as to compel me to move my left directly under it; and finding that the elevation of his guns was not such as to enable me to do so in safety, I sent an officer to him with the request that he would change the direction of his pieces. The officer in command of the battery seems not to have understood my message, and for a few moments the fire from this battery threatened to do us greater injury than anything coming from the front, knocking the branches of trees to pieces and scattering them around us. Several shells from this battery also burst in our very midst, but, fortunately, did us no injury.
We had not advanced more than 300 yards beyond our breastworks when the rebel infantry opened a rapid fire on our right from the corn-field adjacent, and from the pickets in front of our center. My lines advanced under this fire, with the utmost steadiness and good order, a distance of 75 or 80 yards before a shot was returned. I then gave the order to commence firing. The front line, composed of the Seventeenth and Thirty-first Regiments, delivered a steady and well-directed fire. Then, as previously instructed, falling upon the ground to load, the Thirty-eighth Ohio and Eighty-second Indiana immediately advanced and delivered their fire, lying down to load. I then gave the order to fix bayonets, intending to finish the job with that weapon. The enemy, however, had fled precipitately before our volleys behind their breastworks in the woods. There being no corresponding movement on my right, and the battery on our left keeping up a most pertinacious fire, which put my lines in great peril should I advance, I withdrew the brigade again behind the breastworks.*
About 7.30 in the evening I was again ordered by General Sheridan to make a reconnaissance in front. For this purpose I detailed two companies from each of the Ohio regiments under my command, and placed them under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Choate, of the Thirty-eighth Ohio Regiment, assisted by Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, of the Eighty-second Indiana Volunteers, and Captain Stinchcomb, of the Seventeenth Ohio Volunteers. This force had not advanced above a quarter of a mile to the front before they were fired on by the enemy. A brisk skirmish ensued, which was kept up for about half an hour.+
On the morning of the 3rd, being ordered to maintain great vigilance in watching the movements of the enemy to our front, I placed the brigade under arms, advancing my rear line and massing it upon the front under the breastworks. Here we remained pretty much all day, exposed to the inclemency of the weather and suffering a good deal, but without complaint.
The officers and men uniformly behaved well while under my command, and I find no lack of zeal, patience, or courage.
With the night of the 3rd closed the active struggles of this great conflict. The First Brigade has sustained few casualties compared with others. We have tried to perform our duty. We have done the work
*Nominal list of casualties in this advance reports 11 men wounded; viz: Eighty-second Indiana, 4; Seventeenth Ohio, 1; and Thirty-first Ohio, 6.
+Nominal list of casualties in this affair reports Captain James W. Stinchcomb, Seventeenth Ohio, and Lieutenant Thomas B. Hanna and 4 men, of the Thirty-eighth Ohio, wounded.