strongly posted at a cross-roads near Morristown, earthworks in the timber on both sides of the road, and the undergrowth filled with rifle-pits and abatis, which rendered the position to our force quite impassable.
The First Division being all engaged, at about 4.30 p. m. I war ordered by General Newton to move with two regiments on the right of the road, and to take general direction of the operations on that portion of the battle-ground. A deep ravine, with a stream in it, beyond the Morrison house was crossed by the Ninety-third Pennsylvania, Captain Long, and the One hundred and second Pennsylvania Volunteers, Colonel Kinkead (the One hundred and thirty-ninth Pennsylvania, Colonel Collier, being left, supporting a battery, but came up soon after), and, crossing the ridge beyond, they were soon engaged under a terrific fire of musketry from a hidden foe.
To sustain this line many minutes was evidently impossible, and I immediately dispatch a staff officer to the rear to bring up troops with which to form a second line, and others to assist in delaying the retirement of the One hundred and second and Ninety-third Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was soon anticipated. Before they were pushed back, the troops on their left were driven toward us in confusion by overwhelming odds, and by the time a second line was formed the battalions of the enemy were rushing up the ravine we had just crossed, and for a few moments it seemed hardly possible to hold our position, but the rebel regiments could not keep formed under our heavy fire, and gradually retired with heavy loss, while our most advanced line moved off in good order by its right flank, and formed in rear of the batteries behind our second. As the enemy retired, our lines advance, but to attempt the woods again with our present force was not deemed possible, and we held the crest this side. Night came on, and we turned our attention to procuring ammunition and aid for our many wounded.
During the battle of Salem Heights, the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers and the Sixty-second New York Volunteers* were necessarily left on the south side of the main road, where they performed gallant service under the officer in charge of that portion of the line. They lost heavily, and held their positions to the last. Colonel Ballier, of the Ninety-eighth Pennsylvania Volunteers, at that time received a severe wound in the foot, and was taken from the field.
During Sunday night, the brigade, excepting the One hundred and thirty-ninth Pennsylvania Volunteers, which could not be relieved from its important position in front, was assembled in a field near the junction of the main and Banks' Ford roads. Here we bivouacked; filled our ammunition boxes; received our knapsacks, sent by train from Fredericksburg, and rested, after having fought two battles in twelve hours and skirmished all day.
Early on the 4th (Monday), four companies, for picket duty, were sent out under Major Hubbell, of the Sixty-second New York Volunteers, to watch the enemy's pickets north of the Banks' Ford road.
The enemy had been moving troops rapidly around us toward Fredericksburg and our left rear all night, and, when our new lines formed in half circle around the junction of the main and Banks' Ford roads, this brigade was ordered to strengthen and support the left of the First Division.
At 2.30 p. m. we were withdrawn from that position and ordered into the Plank road.
At 3.30 p. m. the left of the Third Division was attacked by a strong column of the enemy, but our batteries soon drove them back.
*Medal of honor awarded to Corpl. Edward Brown, jr., Company G, of this regiment.