splendid victory, and being desirous of bringing off their prisoners, the colonels commanding these respective regiments at first questioned the authenticity of the order, but upon being informed that such order was actually given, they quickly changed as directed.
At this point of time, the enemy was making a desperate attempt to force our left. He had gained the woods to the left of the Fourth and Fifth Vermont, and fearing for the safety of the Fourth Vermont, which was now almost entirely unsupported, I withdrew that regiment, and it was placed in support of butler's battery, whose timely arrival and deadly fire assisted in checking the enemy's advance at that point. Darkness now came on, and the firing ceased, excepting here and there upon the skirmish line. The enemy had been completely foiled, checked, and routed by the remarkable coolness and brilliant conduct of the different regiments.
As soon as the firing had ceased, I formed the brigade in a new line in a strong position in the road, and prepared to repel any attack.?The regiments in this new line were formed from left to right, in the following order: the Fifth and Sixth Vermont, the Twenty-sixth New Jersey, and the Third, Second, and Fourth Vermont. The Fifth and two companies of the Sixth Vermont were deployed as skirmishers, the left resting on the river. The other regiments, respectively, threw out a company of skirmishers to cover their own front. Thus formed, the brigade held the front while the balance of the corps fell back to the river near Banks' Ford. The brigade then slowly retired, its skirmishers, under command of Colonel Seaver, following.
Upon arriving near the ford, the brigade formed a new line of battle, and sent skirmishers far to the front (which had now become our rear). There was some skirmishing, and the Second, Third, and Sixth Vermont the corps having crossed the river, these three regiments and the skirmishers followed.
To Colonel T. O. Seaver, Third Vermont Volunteers, acting as general officer of the day, is due the credit of bringing off the three last-named regiments.
To Major C. P. Dudley, Fifth Vermont Volunteers, under direction of Colonel T. O. Seaver, the credit of safely bringing off the skirmishers is due, the last squads crossing the river in boats after the bridges were partially removed.
The conduct of the troops was excellent. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the officers and men for their steady, brave, and gallant conduct. Generally, the men did their duty, and the officers were there to direct and encourage. With the exception of the Twenty-sixth New Jersey, not an officer failed to come to time; not a man straggled from the ranks. When a regiment moved, it did it with almost the precision of an ordinary drill.
I am almost entirely unable to give particular instances of gallant daring, because all did their best. None left the ranks to dash forward-none to fall to the rear. They could not have done better.
The Twenty-sixth New Jersey redeemed itself. It charged gallantly down with the Sixth Vermont, and left the conflict a victorious and compact regiment. When it marched up to take its position in the new line formed in the road, it marched in good order, and its ranks were well closed.
I cannot fail, however, to speak in the highest terms of praise of Cols. James H. Walbridge, Second Vermont Volunteers; T. O. Seaver, Third Vermont Volunteers; C. B. Stoughton, Fourth Vermont Volun-