time severely commissioned officers rode within our lines of pickets and were captured. At this time, I distinctly saw the head of a column moving down the road, it being a beautiful moonlight night. The column seemed to cover the entire breadth of the road, and moved very cautiously until within 150 yards of us, when it began to deploy in line of battle. At this moment, I directed Lieutenant Dimick to open with canister, clearing the road almost instantly. The batteries on the crest opened, at the signal, upon the road beyond, and, taking the reports of prisoners as reliable, the havoc on their ranks was fearful.
This same movement of the enemy occurred again at 10.30 and at 12 midnight, excepting he did not move his forces upon the open road, but in the woods, and the challenge to open fire was given by the enemy's infantry against our own, but the results were each time the same, the enemy being at each assault repulsed. He used his artillery considerably, but to no great effect, only wounding a few artillerymen and killing a few horses. The practice of the artillery this evening was the most splendid I ever saw. The lines of battle at several times became closely engaged, but the batteries on the crest varied their elevation most admirably, keeping precisely the time of fuse required and the exact elevation necessary to strike the rebel line of fuse required and the exact elevation necessary to strike the rebel line of battle, and I have yet to learn that one Federal soldier was struck by one of our shots or a premature explosion of a shell; yet we repeatedly tore the rebel lines to fragments, and assisted our gallant infantry to drive them, shattered to the rear. The artillery fire of the evening, although perhaps not quite so heavy as at the world-renowned battle of Malvern Hill, I consider far more perfect in time and accuracy. During the firing of this evening, the rifled guns of the Fourth New York Independent Battery, although stationed at some little distance to the rear of the 12-pounder batteries, did excellent service, and assisted in driving the enemy back. Two batteries of the Twelfth Corps were on the left of Winslow's battery, commanded by Captain Best, as chief, but their position was inferior to our own, yet doubtless they did good service. These batteries remained in this position during the next day's engagement.
At 2 a. m. Seeley's battery reached the field, with General Mott's bridge, from the ford.
At 3 a. m. the Fourth New York was ordered to the rear by an aide-de-camp of General Hooker, and I regret to say that, though we needed it much thought the day, the order carried it beyond my reach and beyond the battle-field.
During the night, Captain [Charles W.] Squier, chief engineer of General Berry's staff, threw up small works in front of the guns, which were of great benefit during the engagement of the following day.
At 5 o'clock in the morning, the enemy attacked us in force, and, after a very severe fight by our men, the Federal line began to fall back. From the first moment I learned the position of the enemy, I played upon him with the artillery, the section in the road using very short fuse him with the artillery, the section in the road using very short fuse and canister as the enemy moved to and from. In the movement of this section, securing and defending the front of our line from the persistent attacks of the enemy, notwithstanding its own exposed condition, and under a most galling fire from the rebel sharpshooters and line of battle, Lieutenant Dimick showed the skill and judgment of an accomplished artillery officer and the intrepid bravery of the truest soldier. After holding this position for upward of an hour, his men fighting bravely, but falling rapidly around him (his horse being shot under him), and our infantry crowding back until his flanks were exposed, I gave him the order to limber and fall back. In doing this his