upon the Third Corps, and masses of troops were arriving from Chancellorsville and forming in the plain to my rear.
At about 8 a.m., the general commanding the army, who had arrived on the left of my line a short time previous and noticed my dispositions, directed me, through a staff officer, to move forward with my division, attack the enemy, and drive him through the woods. In a moment the order was given. The men directed themselves of all but their fighting equipment, and the battalions marched in line of battle across the plain with a steady pace, receiving at the verge of the woods the enemy's fire. It was returned with great effect, followed up by an impetuous charge. The rebels fell back in great confusion, receiving volley after volley, well put in by Carroll's western regiments, the Fourteenth Indiana, Fourth Ohio, and Seventh [West] Virginia. These regiments did not halt until they had driven the enemy across the rifle-pits and beyond the Plank road. The One hundred and thirty-second Pennsylvania and the First Delaware Regiments, of the Third Brigade, under Colonel Albright, I put on the right of Carroll, to cover that flank, and finding that the enemy continued to fill the woods beyond my right, I sent to the rifle-pits, where the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New Jersey had been left, supplying their places by the troops falling back from other commands. These two regiments were placed en echelon, keeping a connection with the regiments on their left.
The enemy, at first panic-stricken by the sudden attack on his flank, broke to the right in masses, leaving in our hands several hundred prisoners and abandoning a regiment of one of our corps in the same situation. The fire of my line was deliberate and effective, and delivered only at the exposed masses of the enemy.
Having been thus hotly engaged for more than an hour, I discovered a body of troops taking a position which flanked and turned my own. I therefore sent to the general commanding the army (General Couch, commanding the Second Corps, being at a distant point on the field), informing him of the fact. Very soon a brigade, commanded by Brigadier-General Tyler, led in very handsomely by Lieutenant-Colonel Webb, of General Meade's staff, formed line of battle, connecting with my right, and immediately engaged the enemy.
My left was now free to act, and continued to break and drive the enemy until all our positions between it and Chancellorsville had been abandoned and occupied by the rebels, who, discovering that my attack was not being followed up by fresh troops, moved a heavy column to turn that flank, when my line retired slowly to the edge of the woods, the rebels declining to follow. General Tyler, having reported his ammunition exhausted, on consulting General Meade, commanding the Fifth Corps, he was authorized to withdraw his brigade, which was done in an orderly manner. After this brigade had uncovered the right of Albright's, the enemy made a lively attack upon it, but the First Delaware, Colonel Smyth, changing front to rear, faced rapidly, and repulsed him handsomely.
In the meantime Hays' detached brigade shared the fortunes of the troops it was ordered to support. General Hays and his staff, with the exception of one aide, were taken prisoners. Colonel Powers, One hundred and eighth New York Volunteers, who succeeded in command, my division, which had reassembled at 12 m., took up the position designated for it, in which it remained until the night of the 5th, when the division recrossed the Rappahannock, and returned in good order to its former encampment at this place.