War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0592 N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

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command ready to move at 1.30 o'clock the next morning. Just at daybreak the brigade was moved to the extreme left of our line, to be there held in reserve. Immediately after, the other troops of the corps advanced, and the fighting at once became general. Hardly had it commenced when I saw a very large force of the enemy cautiously stealing through the woods to the left of our position, and advancing as if to turn it. General Brooks sent me Battery D, Lieutenant Willston commanding. A very strong line of skirmishers was thrown out, and the movement of the enemy was defeated.

About 10 a. m. two of the regiments of this brigade, the Ninety-fifth and One hundred and nineteenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, were taken by General Brooks for the purpose of strengthening a position a little to the left of our center. At about non, the heights of Fredericksburg having been stormed and carried, and the enemy silenced in our front, orders were received from General Brooks to cover the withdrawal of our forces to Fredericksburg. About 5 o'clock in the evening, we were ordered to the front, where this brigade was immediately put on picket, which position it held during the whole of that night.

During all of Manday, the enemy made repeated attempts in our front to advance his line of skirmishers, but every attempt was foiled through the vigilance and stubborn resistance of the men of this command and through the sharp and precise firing of Lieutenant Butler's battery, stationed directly in our rear. Our position here was strengthened by two regiments from the Third Division, the Thirty-sixth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Walsh commanding,and the Thirty-seventh Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Edwards, both of whom rendered material assistance in holding and defending the position. Late in the afternoon of Monday, orders were received to draw in our pickets, and to cover the withdrawal to Banks' Ford, following the Second Division of this corps. This was effected just at dusk, under cover of a very hot and accurate shelling of the woods in our front from Hexamer's and Butler's batteries. This brigade reached Banks' Ford about 9 o'clock in the evening of Monday, in good order, and crossed the river in safety at 2 o'clock in the morning of Tuesday, May 5. We went into camp near Berea Church, and remained there with the rest of the Sixth Corps, to cover the return of the pontoons, till Friday, May 8. we broke camp at 8.30 o'clock, and marched back to the camp from whence we start on the 28th ultimo.

The total loss in this brigade, in killed, wounded, and missing, in these engagements with the enemy, was 403, and includes 6 commissioned officers killed, 10 severely wounded, and 3 slightly; 30 enlisted men killed, 100 severely wounded, 78j slightly wounded, and 176 missing. Colonel Irwin, of the Forty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and Captain Freebrun, of the same regiment, were wounded, the formed seriously, the letter dangerously, on the morning of the 29th ultimo, in crossing the river.

In the battle of Salem Heights, on the afternoon of Sunday, May 3, the two regiments of this brigade before mentioned as having been taken by General Brooks to strengthen a position were, under his supervision, fiercely engaged with the enemy, and here the Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers sustained a great calamity in the loss of its colonel, Gust. W. Town, a most efficient, meritorious, gallant, and daring officer. He fell in the advance, while urging on his his men against the enemy. At the same time the lieutenant-colonel, Elisha Hall, was killed, and the major, Thomas J. Town, severely wounded. The adjutant, Eugene D. Dunton, also fell here, mortally wounded. Captain