and interfered with getting the boats to the bank and into position for a crossing. At this juncture the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel Bragg, and Twenty-fourth Michigan Volunteers, Colonel Morrow, were ordered to the front, and to deploy the bank of the river and return the fire. The movement was promptly executed, and a brisk engagement ensued, which lasted for a few minutes. At this time the troops engaged in laying the pontoons had fallen back in great disorder, when the Second and Seventh Wisconsin and the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers were deployed, under cover of a slight crest running parallel to the river, and ordered to lie down, by which means they were to some extent protected from the enemy's fire. The Fourteenth Brooklyn being deployed as skirmishers and moving toward the river, the Sixth Wisconsin and the Twenty-fourth Michigan fell back to the position occupied by the other three regiments of the brigade.
At 9 a. m. the brigade was ordered to cross the river in boats and drive the enemy form their position, the Sixth Wisconsin and Twenty-fourth Michigan moving in the advance, immediately followed by the Second and Seventh Wisconsin, and the Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers moving up in double-quick. A part of the Second Wisconsin had been ordered to bring forward the pontoons, which it performed in fine style, under a shower of musketry. The Second and Seventh Wisconsin and Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers opened fire on the enemy, which was continued for a few minutes, until the pontoons could be placed in the water, when the whole brigade crossed, under a direct and enfilading fire, charged the rifle-pits, killing 30, wounding a large number, and capturing nearly 200 prisoners.
The cool courage displayed by Colonel Bragg, of the Sixth Wisconsin, and Colonel Morrow, of the Twenty-fourth Michigan, and the officers and men of their commands, in crossing the river and charging the enemy's works, entitle them to the highest praise. The Second Wisconsin, Colonel Fairchild; the Seventh Wisconsin, Colonel Robinson, and the Nineteenth Indiana, Colonel Williams, in promptly supporting the Sixth Wisconsin and Twenty-fourth Michigan in their rapid and enthusiastic movements in crossing, are also entitled to the admiration of their superior officers.
The Sixth Wisconsin immediately formed and moved to the right as far as the Bernard house. The Twenty-fourth formed the left, while the Second and Seventh Wisconsin and Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers formed a line to cover the laying of the pontoons. Skirmishers were immediately thrown to the front. As soon as the bridge was completed, the brigade was moved to the left, to prevent a flank movement should the enemy make the attempt, the Twenty-fourth having its left resting on the Rappahannock, and the regiment lying at right angles with the river, the Nineteenth Indiana, with its left resting on the right of the Twenty-fourth, and parallel to the river, the Seventh and Second Wisconsin continuing the line, the Sixth, with its right on the Rappahannock, its left joining the Second. Around this parallelogram was a ditch, in which the men took shelter. The men lay upon their arms all night.
During the forenoon of the 30th the men were busy improving their defenses, which were made quite secure by 4 p. m., when the enemy opened fire upon us from a battery on a hill commanding our position and directly in our front. Two men of the Twenty-fourth Michigan were killed and 2 wounded. Major Finnicum, of the Seventh Wisconsin, was hit by a fragment of a shell, but injured slightly. During the night, entrenching trolls being furnished, the men were at work on the intrenchments.