War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0454 OPERATIONS IN N.VA.,W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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nearest point of wood, and, having gamed the crest, to extend his attack along it to the extreme point of the heights, where most of the enemy's artillery was posted. As the column crossed the Bowling Green road the artillery of his division was ordered into position on the rise of the ground between this road and the railroad; Cooper's and Ransom's batteries,to the front, soon joined by Amsden's, to oppose those of the enemy on the crest, while Simpson's had to be thrown to the left, to oppose that on the Bowling Green road, which was taking the column in flank. Hall's battery was at the same time thrown to the front, on the left of Gibbon's division, which was advancing in line on Meade's right. The artillery combat here raged furiously for some time, until that of the enemy was silenced, when all of our batteries were directed to shell the wood, where his infantry was supposed to be posted. This was continued some half hour, when the column of Meade, advancing in fine order and with gallant determination, was directed into the point of wood which extended this side of the railroad, with instructions, when they carried the crest and road which ran along it in their front, to move the First Brigade along the road, the Second Brigade to advance and hold the road, while the Third moved across the open field, to support the First in carrying the extreme point of the ridge. At this time I sent orders to General Gibbon to advance, in connection with General Meade, and carry the wood in his front. The advance was made under the fire of the enemy's batteries on his right and front, to which Gibbon's batteries replied, while those of Smith's joined in on the right.

Meade's division successfully carried the wood in front, crossed the railroad, charged up the slope of the hill, and gained the road and edge of the wood, driving the enemy from his strong position in the detaches and railroad cut, capturing the flags of two regiments and sending about 200 prisoners to the rear. At the same time Gibbon's division had crossed the railroad and entered the wood, driving the first line of the enemy and capturing a number of prisoners; but, from the dense character of the wood, the connection between his division and Meade's was broken. The infantry combat was here kept up with great spirit for a short time, when Meade's column was vigorously assailed by the enemy's masked force, and, after a severe contest, forced back. Two regiments of Berry's brigade, Birney's division, arrived about this time, and were immediately thrown into the wood on Gibbon's left, to the support of the line; but they too were soon overpowered, and the whole line retired from the wood, Meade's in some confusion, and, after an ineffectual by General Meade and myself to rally them under the enemy's fire, that of the artillery having resumed almost its original intensity, I directed General Meade to reform his division across the Bowling Green road, and ordered the remainder of Berry's brigade, which had come up, to the support of the batteries.

The enemy, showing himself in strong force in the wood, seemed disposed to follow our retiring troops, but the arrival of the other brigades of Birney's division on the ground at this critical moment, to occupy our line of battle, materially aided in saving Hall's battery, which was now seriously threatened by the enemy,and, together with our artillery fire, soon drove him to his sheltered positions and cover, from which his infantry did not again appear.

General Gibbon's division was assailed in turn in the same manner, and compelled to retire from the wood soon after Meade's. General Gibbon having been wounded just before entering the wood, and obliged to leave the field, his division fell back in good order, under the able management of Brigadier-General Taylor, to its original position, from