War of the Rebellion: Serial 031 Page 0512 OPERATION IN N. VA.,W. VA.,MD.,AND PA. Chapter XXXIII.

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to repel this attack. The other regiments, in passing through the woods, being assailed from the left, inclined in that direction and ascended the heights, the Third going up as the One hundred and twenty-first of the brigade was retiring. The Third continued to advance, and reached nearly the same point as the First Brigade, but was compelled to withdraw for the same reason. The Seventh engaged the enemy to the left, capturing many prisoners and a stand of colors, driving them from their rifle-pits and temporary defenses, and continuing the pursuit till, encountering the enemy's re-enforcements, they were in turn driven back. The Third Brigade had not advanced over 100 yards, when the battery on the height on its left was remained, and poured a destructive fire into its ranks. Perceiving this, I dispatched my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Dehon, with orders for General Jackson to move by the right flank till he could clear the open ground in front of the battery, and then, ascending the height through the woods, swing around to the left and take the battery. Unfortunately Lieutenant Dehon fell just as he reached General Jackson, and a short time afterward the latter officer was killed. The regiments, however, did partially execute the movement by obliquing to the right, and advancing across the railroad, a portion ascending the heights in their front. The loss of their commander, and the severity of the fire from both artillery and infantry to which they were subjected, compelled them to withdraw, when those on their right withdrew.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the attack was for a time perfectly successful. The enemy was driven from the railroad, his rifle-pits, and breastworks, for over half a mile. Over 300 prisoners were taken and several standards, when the advancing line encountered the heavy re-enforcements of the enemy, who, recovering from the effects of our assault, and perceiving both our flanks unprotected, poured in such a destructive fire from all three directions as to compel the line to fall back, which was executed without confusion. Perceiving the danger of the too great penetration of my line, without support, I dispatched several staff officers both to General Gibbon's command and General Birney's (whose division had replaced mine at the batteries from whence we advanced), urging an advance to my support, the one on my right, the other on my left. A brigade of Birney's advanced to our relief just as my men were withdrawn from the wood, and Gibbon's division advanced into the wood on our right in time to assist materially in the safe withdrawal of my broken line.

An unsuccessful effort was made to reform the division in the hollow in front of the batteries. Failing in this, the command was reformed beyond the Bowling Green road and marched to the ground occupied the night before, where it was held in reserve till the night of the 15th, when we recrossed the river.

Accompanying this report is a list giving the names of the killed, wounded, and missing, amounting in the aggregate to 179 killed, 1,082 wounded, and 509 missing.* When I report that 4,500 men is a liberal estimate of the strength of the division taken into action, this large loss, being 40 per cent., will fully bear me out in the expression of my satisfaction at the good conduct of both officers and men. While I deeply regret the inability of the division, after having successfully penetrated the enemy's lines, to remain and hold what had been secured, at the same time I deem their withdrawal a matter of necessity. With one brigade commander killed, another wounded, nearly half their number


*But see revised statement, p. 140.