forced them back through the woods and upon our second line, in rear of which I reformed my brigade and rested until morning.
My loss in this attack was 580 officers and men out of four regiments numbering less than 1,500. The attack was made at 5.30 o'clock, and the fighting ceased just sat nightfall. Nothing could surpass the gallantry with which my troops threw themselves against the enemy's well-selected position. They were exhausted by fatigue and want of sleep, yet their enthusiasm carried them beyond all consideration of self, and made heroes of every officer and man. It was the first time they were ever repulsed; it was the first time they were ever ordered to hold a position which they were unable to do; it was the first time they had ever retired in the face of an enemy, and their losses attest their regret more feelingly than I can express it.
It was understood that we were to attack again at daylight, and my command was under arms at an early hour, but during the night the enemy had received heavy re-enforcements, which were thrown to our left and rear, cutting off all communication with Fredericksburg by 8 a. m.
This rendered a change of front necessary, and my brigade was formed, facing outward, parallel with the Gordonsville road, my left connecting with General Howe's right, and my right connecting with the First Brigade, with the First Massachusetts Battery occupying a rise on the right and front of my line of battle. The Twenty-seventh New York Volunteers, Colonel A. D. Adams commanding, was thrown to the front as skirmishers.
In this position we awaited the enemy's attack, which was delayed until 6 p. m., at which hour three signal guns were fired in front of my line, and his skirmishers advanced along our whole front. My skirmishers did their duty in the most admirable manner; they were cool, resolute, and determined, and succeeded in holding the advance in check for a long time, forcing the enemy finally to move forward in line of battle, which was broken and dispersed by the well-directed fire by battery of the First Massachusetts Battery, Captain McCartney commanding. Several successive formations were routed on this part of my line in the same manner sand by the same means, the left of my line resting upon a more exposed position, on account of the withdrawal of a portion of General Howe's f ores. Hexamer's battery of 10-pounder Parrott guns, commanded by Lieutenant [Parsons], was ordered to report to me, and was posted by sections to command the several approaches up ravines running diagonally across our line of battle. I was able to repel all attacks of the enemy on my front with artillery and skirmishers until after dark, when I received an order to retire slowly on the road to Banks' Ford, leaving my skirmish line to cover t he movement.
In the vicinity of Banks' Ford my line was reformed in the rifle-pits, where the troops rested until nearly midnight, when I was ordered to send two regiments to the front as supports to the skirmish line. The On e hundred d and twenty-first New York, Colonel E. Upton, and the Fifth Maine, Colonel Edwards, were accordingly sent.
About 2 a. m. I received orders to cross the pontoon bridge at Banks' Ford, which was effected without loss of life or property, my brigade bringing up the rear of the corps.
During the campaign, which lasted eight days, I was supported throughout its fatigues and dangers in the most soldierly manner by my officers commanding regiments.
Colonel Emory Upton, commanding One hundred and twenty-first New