advantageous posted on a ridge, with artillery commanding the road. The Twenty-fifth Regiment New York Volunteers, Colonel Johnson, and the Eighteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Hayes, were deployed as skirmishers into the woods on the left and right of the road, and the rest of the brigades held in reserve. On a close inspection of their works, I was satisfied that re-enforcements were necessary. The works of the enemy consisted of breastworks, flanked by artillery, having full command of the road by which the approach was to be made. I sent for a section of artillery, which could not be furnished, and, while reconnoitering, I received instructions to withdraw without making an attack. Accordingly, the force was withdrawn through the woods on both sides of the road, unobserved by the enemy.
On the following day (May 1), this brigade, with the other portions of the division, marched by the Mott road toward Banks' Ford, and when within about 2 miles of that place it was ordered to return.
The brigade, when returning, was directed to be formed in line of battle in the woods on the left of General Hancock's division, which was soon done. Pickets were thrown to the front and abatis hastily made, for the protection of the line. The position being undesirable and exposed to the fire of the enemy, at midnight orders were received to retire to a more favorable one along a creek running to Scott's Mills.
Here the brigade was employed during the following day in constructing breastworks, and toward evening a formidable defense was erected by the industry and zeal of the command, connecting on the right with General Sykes' division.
Toward evening, General Sykes' division, on our right, was withdrawn, and this brigade received instructions to extend toward the right, and to occupy the round held previously by General Sykes.
On Sunday, at an early hour, the brigade was ordered from the line held by it up to that time, and moved toward the United States Ford. It was halted near the command of General Sykes, and formed in order of battle in his rear. The One hundred and eighteenth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers was here directed to occupy a portion of the line of General Sykes, and erected breastworks again in their front. In this position we remained about two hours. The brigade was then removed on the road toward Chancellorsville, and placed in position on the extreme left of the line, at the white house there. The Second Maine Volunteers was ordered to strengthen itself at this point, and to hold it at all hazards. This was efficiently done under the direction of Colonel Varney. The remaining regiments of the brigade were withdrawn to the shelter of the neighboring woods, but soon after were ordered up and placed in position on the right and left of the Second Maine. Intrenchments were rapidly thrown up, pickets advanced to the woods in front, and the left of the line was placed in a suitable condition of defense. Captain [John] Wilson, commanding two companies of Berdan's Sharpshooters, advanced handsomely, deployed to the front, and occupied the woods in advance. This ground was subsequently occupied by detachments from the Twenty-fifth New York and Eighteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, the left resting upon the pickets of the Third Corps. The One hundred and eighteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers occupied the right of the Second Maine Volunteers, the First Michigan Volunteers being held in reserve, as also were the Twenty-second Massachusetts and the battalion of the Thirteenth New York Volunteers. During the night, the whole front occupied by this brigade was placed in an efficient state of defense by the indefatigable labor of the troops. These works were held by the brigade during May 3, 4, and 5.