playing upon us heavily with shell. We met Caldwell's brigade going to the front as we were emerging from the woods, retiring.
The Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New Jersey afterward moved in on our right, separated from us by the First Delaware and One hundred and Thirty-second Pennsylvania, of another brigade, and, consequently, not knowing of their movement or being able to see them an account of the thick underbrush, I could not supervise them. They joined me after I came out of the woods, retiring. It was about three and a half hours from the time I formed line to move forward until I returned. My men behaved in the most gallant style, and I had much more trouble to make them retire, when it was found useless to advance, than to move forward.
The pioneer corps, under the command of Captain N. Willard, was formed across the road to stop fleeing stragglers. They took possession of our prisoners, as they were brought out of the woods, and turned them over to an aide of General Patrick, and rejoined me at the same time with the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New Jersey.
We then re-occupied our rifle-pits for about an hour, when I was ordered to move to the left and occupy the position at right angles to our rifle-pits, which General Sykes' division had formerly occupied. In moving to this position, we were heavily shelled by the enemy and met with some loss. The rest of the day was occupied by us in constructing rifle-pits along this time. Skirmishers were placed about 600 yards in front of my works, connecting with General Hancock on the right and the Eleventh Corps on my left.
At 5 p.m. on the 4th, the enemy shelled our rifle-pits for about half an hour, doing to damage. About 12 midnight there was an alarm caused by a portion of the Eleventh Corps firing on an unseen and unheard-of enemy.
Between 9 and 10 a.m. on the 5th, a reconnaissance of the enemy in our front drove in our pickets some 300 yards, but, sending out a re-enforcement, forced them to retire. At 8 p.m. I received orders to be ready to move back toward the United Stated Ford.
At 3 a.m. on the 6th, I was put en route for the rear, crossing the United States Ford about 5 a.m., marching to our old camp, which we reached between 11 and 12 o'clock.
Where all, both officers and men, behaved so gallantly it would seem invidious to particularize, and as it would require too much space to record the personal gallantry of even the commissioned officers, I will confine myself to the mention of the cool judgment and indomitable courage of Colonel Coons, Lieutenant-Colonel Cavins, and Major Houghton, of the Fourteenth Indiana; Lieutenant-Colonel Carpenter (commanding), Captains Jones (acting major), and Grubb, of the Fourth Ohio; Colonel Snider and Lieutenant-Colonel Lockwood, of the Seventh [West] Virginia. The preceding are the only regiments that went into action with me on the 3rd instant.
My thanks are due to Captain [Samuel] Fiske, acting assistant inspector-general, who was either killed or wounded and taken prisoner while carrying an order from me to the Seventh [West] Virginia, on the Plank road; Lieutenant J. G. Reid, of the Eighth Ohio, acting assistant adjutant-general; Lieutenant Joseph H. Carr, of the Fourth Ohio, and Lieutenant A. M. Van Dyke, of the Fourteenth Indiana Volunteers, acting aides-de-camp, for their promptitude and valuable assistance in a trying emergency. I would also state that no surgeons or their assistants, except Asst. Surg. W. F. Hicks, of the Seventh [West] Virginia, and no ambulance men or stretchers, were furnished me from the time I formed