War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0320 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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the left, with the Fifty-second New York Volunteers ont heir right. These two regiments were consolidated, under the command of Colonel Paul Frank, of the Fifty-second New York Volunteers. We advanced int his order through the woods, under a fire of grape and canister, passing several of Berdan's sharpshooters, who had been skirmishing through the woods, until we encountered the rebels, in rifle-pits on our right, who opened on us a very severe fire, which killed and wounded many of the officers and men of the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, among others Colonel Beaver, of this regiment. The severity of the fire and the fall of their colonel produced a momentary confusion in the One hundred and forty-eighth, but they rallied almost instantly, and poured a steady and most destructive fire into the enemy, who, after a few minutes, broke and feel back. I then gave the command to cease firing, and charged the retreating enemy. The rebels rallied about 300 yards farther on, when we opened fire upon them again, which drove them back. I then advanced to the edge of the woods, where I saw a battery coming into position, and, in a ravine in front of the battery,a line of least 1,500 of the enemy moving at double-quick around our left flank.

My aide, Lieutenant Cross, had previously reported to General Meade for re-enforcements, as we had no support whatever, and our left was entirely unprotected.

General Meade said that his orders were peremptory to send no troops into the woods, and that if the force of the enemy was too strong for us we must fall back. The enemy, in numbers far superior to mine, was rapidly moving around our left flank. The fire on our right of General French was receding, and was now some distance in the rear, when, finding it impossible to advance or hold our position without re-enforcements, I reluctantly gave the order to fall back, which I did in good order, facing about in line every 100 yards. I formed my line at the edge of the woods where I had gone in, and, finding some boxes of ammunition of the right caliber at that place, I ordered my men to fill their boxes, which was done.

I then reported to General Couch, in person, who ordered me to take my men to the corner of the woods where I had first bivouacked after crossing the river. Here I formed a lien, with my right connecting with the Third Corps, and my left with the Irish Brigade. We threw up strong entrenchments, and remained in this position, exposed at intervals to a heavy fire of artillery, until the morning of the 6th, when, with the rest of the corps, we recrossed the river, and came back to our old camp in good order, there being but one straggler reported in the brigade.

Of the conduct of officers and men during the entire movement, I cannot speak in terms of too high praise. i confess I was somewhat anxious for the One hundred and forty-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, it being a new regiment, and never having been exposed to fire. it behaved, however, throughout with the greatest coolness, vying with the old troops in steadiness. Colonel Miles speaks in high terms of the six companies that were on picket, and the other four companies fought with the greatest gallantry under my own eye. I have seldom seen a more steady or better-directed fire than their was int he woods on Sunday. The Sixty-first New York Volunteers maintained its well-earned reputation for steadiness, bravery, and all good soldierly qualities.

I greatly regret to report that Colonel Miles was severely, if not mortally, wounded on Sunday morning, while handling the picket line with masterly ability. I have had occasion heretofore to mention the distinguished