nect with the right of Birney. This regiment and the Eleventh New Jersey had not before been under fire, and I had great pleasure in observing the steadiness and spirit which characterized all their movements.
The enemy's artillery did not cease its until dusk, our guns replying at intervals. There was no farther advance of the infantry, and, except the clatter of the skirmishers, the two armies seemed to rest on their arms.
My dispositions were not changed during the night, except to relieve two of the regiments of the First Brigade (Eleventh and Sixteenth Massachusetts), which were at the bridges, by two regiments of the Third Brigade, detailed by General Revere. The Eleventh and Sixteenth Massachusetts were moved to the front to support General Carr, whose right flank was exposed. The First and Second Divisions of the left wing, Reynolds' corps on our left and Smith's on our right, receding toward the river on both flanks from the line of our front.
Immediately in front of Bernard's mansion (General Franklin's headquarters) a broad lawn spreads out to the Bowling Green road, which,in its course through the plantation, is sunk between two high embankments. Across this road are corn-fields, extending to a ditch running almost parallel with the railroad, to the base of the wooded heights overlooking the cultivated lowlands the Rappahannock. For drainage, and, perhaps, for irrigation, these lands were intersected by deep, broad ditches, some of them almost impassable, except at the bridges, which were not numerous. Along my front, if the ground deviated at all from a level plain, it descended toward the enemy's lines. This plain was swept in face and flank by the enemy's guns.
Not long before daybreak on Sunday, the enemy made a demonstration on the skirmishers thrown out on the left from the One hundred and twentieth New York, apparently to drive them from a ditch in which they had found good cover; but this advance was so vigorously met that the enemy fell back and the attack was not pressed.
During the night the enemy were re-enforced in my front, and were busily employed in felling large trees for abatis and constructing a barricade along the railroad embankment, made of the sleepers raised perpendicularly with intervals for musketry, and braced by the rails and ties thus obtained from the track.
Some changes were made in the dispositions of their artillery, by which two batteries were brought to bear on the right and front of my position. One of these appeared to be a heavy battery-probably 32s.
About sunrise, simultaneous with brisk firing from his skirmishers, the enemy opened fire on me from one of these, which proved to be a four-gun battery. Seeley immediately returned the fire with the left half of his battery (the ground not being favorable for more), and Captain Clark, who was in position with his battery of rifled guns, farther to the right and rear with some troops of Smith's corps, opened at the same time. The well-directed fire from these two batteries, supported by the excellent practice of the sharpshooters, thrown forward near the burnt chimneys from the First Brigade, compelled the enemy to retire very soon.
Early Sunday morning, by direction of the brigadier-general commanding the corps, I relieved the regiments of the First and Third Brigades from further duty at the bridges, and ordered them to the front, where they promptly joined their respective commands.