Having executed this order, I immediately rejoined the command, the First and Second Brigades resting in the woods to the left of the Chancellor house and adjoining the cleared space west of the Banks' Ford road.
On Saturday, a reconnaissance was ordered to be made on the Plank road to the immediate front, for which duty Lieutenant-Colonel Tilghman, with the Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was detailed. At the same time, a reconnaissance was ordered to be made on the Banks' Ford road, running toward the left, for which Colonel William Blaisdell, with the Eleventh Massachusetts Infantry, was detailed. Lieutenant-Colonel Tilghman performed the duty assigned him in a skillful and commendable manner. Colonel Blaisdell, having taken a position exceedingly annoying to the enemy, received an attack of a rebel brigade to dislodge him, which his regiment gallantly repulsed. He communicated much reliable information, and for the services rendered received the commendations of General Hancock, commanding the lines to the left of the Chancellor house.
The enemy, about 3 p.m., attacked in strong force the right, occupied by the Eleventh and Twelfth Corps, which were hurriedly driven back.
This division received orders at about 4 p.m. to move to the right, and take position for their support or to check the enemy's advance.
By direction of Major-General Berry, I led the Second Brigade into the woods to the right of the road and opposite the front edge of the wood on the left. The line, after halting, faced to the front and advanced a short distance. The Fourth Excelsior Regiment, Major Burns commanding, was placed on the edge of the wood, to the left of the road. The First Massachusetts Infantry, Colonel McLaughlen commanding, was detached from the First Brigade and posted on the left of the Second Brigade, prolonging the line to the Plank road. The Twenty-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers was also taken from the First Brigade and posted on the right of the first line, but by direction of General Revere, commanding Second Brigade, this last regiment, with the Fifth Excelsior, was thrown nearly perpendicularly to the rear. Repeated orders were given to place them in prolongation of the front line, but it was not done. The remaining regiments of the First (General Carr's) Brigade were placed in the second line, about 150 paces to the rear. These disposition made, the regiments of the first line, covered by their respective skirmishers, in obedience to instruction, threw up a very creditable breastwork of logs, with a small abatis in front, in view of the absence of entrenching tools.
I was sent forward about 9 p.m. to verify the information received of a Federal line in our front, and soon learned by a prisoner brought in by our skirmishers that the enemy's line of battle was but 200 or 300 yards in front. Before returning, I was joined by General Berry at the moment when an aide of General Stuart was brought up, also captured by our pickets, with an orderly and 2 horses. They had been ordered to draw off a caisson left by the Eleventh Corps between the lines, but subsequently brought in by our pickets. About 11 p.m. the enemy made an attack, which in thirty minutes, by the aid of our artillery, was repelled. No demonstration in our immediate front until daylight. About 12 p.m. the Eleventh Massachusetts Infantry, Colonel Blaisdell, arrived from its position on the left, occupied in the morning, and was placed on the left of the second line. At 2 p.m. General Williams' troops relieved the Fourth Excelsior Regiment with the Third Maryland Regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Robinson commanding
29 R R-VOL XXV, PT I