and that written orders would soon arrive by an aide-de-camp. These orders arrived soon after 8 o'clock. In the mean time I had informed General Reynolds that his corps was to make the attack indicated by General Hardie, and he ordered Meade's division to the point of attack, to be supported by Gibbon's division. As Smith's corps was in position when the order for attack was received, and as a change in the line would have been attended with great risk at that time, and would have caused much delay, I considered it impracticable to add his force to that about to make the attack. I thought also that General Reynolds' force of three divisions would be sufficient to carry out the spirit of the order, the words of it being, "You will send out at once a division at least, * * * taking care to keep it well supported and its line of retreat open."
At 8.30 o'clock General Meade's division moved forward about 500 yards, and, turning to the right, pushed toward the wood near the Bowling Green road. It was met by a severe fire of artillery. The fire was answered by the artillery of Reynolds' corps, which, in the course of two hours or more,silenced the enemy's batteries. The wood in which the enemy's infantry was posted was then shelled for more than half an hour, and Meade's division immediately afterward moved on to the attack. In the mean time the two division of General Stoneman's corps which had been detailed as supports, and were then at the bridges, I ordered over to the support of General Reynolds. The advance of General Meade was made under a general fire of the enemy's batteries, which was answered by all of Reynolds' and Smith's batteries, so that the artillery action became general along the whole line. Meade passed into the wood, carried it, crossed the railroad, and gained the crest of the hill, capturing two flags and about 200 prisoners. At the crest of the hill the combat was kept up for some time. At the same time Gibbon's division advanced, crossed the railroad, entered the wood, and took some prisoners, driving back the first line of the enemy; but the wood was so dense that the connection between Meade's,and his line could not be kept up. In consequence of this fact, Meade's line, which was vigorously attacked by a large column of fresh troops, could not hold its ground, and was repulsed, leaving the wood at a walk, but not in order. General Reynolds and Meade rallied them beyond the Bowling Green road. Gibbon's division was also repulsed shortly afterward. Just as Meade was repulsed, two regiments of Berry's brigade, Birney's division, Stoneman's corps, which had just arrived, were thrown into the wood on Gibbon's left. They also were soon driven out. While Meade's division was getting rallied, the remainder of Birney's division camp up and drove the enemy from the front of the wood, where he had appeared in strong force. This division, with the aid of the artillery, soon drove the enemy back to shelter, and he did not again appear. It also materially aided in saving Hall's battery, then seriously threatened. Gibbon's division then fell back in good order to its position of the morning, and was relieved by General Sickles' division, of Stoneman's corps, which took the position Gibbon had previously held.
As the enemy made a serious demonstrations of Reynolds' left, as soon as his disposition of Meade's division was discovered he ordered General Doubleday's division to that part of the field. This division soon drove off the enemy's artillery, forcing him to leave the river bank on this side of the Massaponax. Our troops advanced on the left, and occupied the position held by the enemy in the morning. The operations on the left were materially aided by Captain De Russy, who brought