road, the right resting toward the city and the left near Hazel Runn. In the formation of the column the Twenty-fifth New Jersey had preceded my regiment,and at this point their line covered my front. As we passed the brow of the hill, and moved down onto the line of the railroad, the enemy opened fire upon us from his batteries with renewed vigor. At the same time our batteries, in the rear, were answering his, and the heavens were illuminated with exploding shells from front and rear. Having extended our lines along the line of the railroad,the Twenty-fifth New Jersey, took the shelter afforded by the right embankment of the railroad,and my men the partial cover afforded by the left embankment. It was for a moment only. The words, "Forward, charge, " ran along the lines; the men sprang forward, and moved at a run crossed the railroad, into a low muddy swamp on the left, which reaches down to Hazel Run, the right moving over higher and less muddy ground, all the time the batteries of the enemy concentrating their terrible fire, and pouring it upon the advancing lines. Suddenly the cannonading and musketry of the enemy ceased; the shouts of our men also were hushed, and nothing was heard along the line save the command, "Forward, men, steady,, close up". In this manner we continued to advance in the direction of the enemy's batteries. I moved on the right of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Bowers in the center, and Major Storer on the left. From some cause the left wing of the Twenty-fifth New Jersey separated from the right, and the left of my line passed forward and took the advance, the right of the Twenty-fifth still having the advance of my right.
In this way we moved forward until within about 20 yards of the celebrated "stone wall" at the foot of the hill, on the crest of which, according to rebel accounts, was placed the well-known Washington batteries. I do not speak at random of our position; I verified it by subsequent observation, and by the report of a brave and intelligent soldier sent by myself on the Thursday following the battle with our burial party, and who assisted in performing the last rite upon some of our dead who lay there.
I am proud to say that the regiment which I had the honor to command, in connection with the right wing of the Twenty-fifth New Jersey, gained a point much nearer the stone wall and the rebel guns than any of our forces during that unfortunable day, and that the officers and men advanced firmly, though rapidly, to the attack,and were withdrawn only in the face of a fire which, during the whole day, had successfully repulsed the desperate bravery of chosen and veteran troops. Befores we reached the point of which I have been speaking, we came to an irregular ravine or gully, into which, in the darkness of the night, the lines plunged, but immediately gained the opposite side, and were advancing along the level ground toward the stone wall. Behind that wall, and in rifle-pits on its flanks, were posted the enemy's infantry, according to their statements four ranks deep, and on the hill, a few yards above, lay, in ominous silence, their death-dealing artillery. It was while we were moving steadily forward that, with one starting crash - with one simultaneous sheet of fire and flame-they hurled on our advancing lines the whole terrible force of their infantry and artillery. The powder from their musketry burned in our very faces, and the breath of their artillery was hot upon our cheeks. The leaden rain and iron hail in an instant forced back the advancing lines upon those who were close to them in the rear, and, before the men could be rallied to renew the charge, the lines had been hurled back by the irresistible fire of the enemy to the cover of the ravine or gully which they had just