In this position the division remained until noon, May 1, when we received marching orders, which to the disappointment of the troops, were countermanded immediately afterward. I then was ordered to take a position facing south, connecting with the First Division, under General Devens, on my right, and the Second Division, under General Steinwehr, on my left. I placed General Schimmelfennig's brigade on my right, connecting on his right with General McLean's brigade, of the First Division, and ordered Colonel Krzyzanowski to occupy my left, to connect on his left with Colonel Buschbeck's brigade, of the Second Division. The dispositions I made are shown in detail on Diagram Numbers 2; in addition to which I have to observe that the two regiments forming my extreme right were ordered by me to be placed in column on the open field immediately on the left of General McLean's brigade, so as to give them liberty of movement, but that they were drawn back being the fence and deployed in line of battle on the old Turnpike road, as I understand, by special directions from headquarters. Behind my Second Brigade, Colonel Krzyzanowski, I placed a strong reserve, so as to be able to assist Colonel Buschbeck, whose line was at the time very thin. The Eighty-second Ohio I kept farther back, as a general reserve. My pickets were at a suitable distance in front, south of the Plank road, connecting with those of General Devens on the right and General Steinwehr on the left. Captain Dilger's battery was placed at the junction of the two roads, commanding the Plank road, the valley below, and the woods beyond.
The firing we heard all along the line of the army during the day seemed to indicate that the enemy was feeling our front in its whole length. Toward evening the enemy began to throw shells from two pieces placed on an open space in the woods opposite General Devens' left, but doing no injury. This fire was not replied to by our artillery.
General Schimmelfennig received the order to send forward one regiment to capture or drive away those pieces. A short but lively skirmish ensued, in which some of our men were wounded, and the officers commanding the expedition returned with the report that the pieces had already been withdrawn. A subsequent reconnaissance proved this to be true. A negro was brought in from a farm near the place where the guns had stood, and reported that he had seen some rebel troops moving westward; but the information he gave us was very indefinite.
Meanwhile my chief of staff, Major [Ernest F.] Hoffmann, was ordered by you to superintend the construction of rifle-pits along our whole front, facing south. Pioneers and fatigue parties worked all night, and at daybreak the rifle-pits were nearly completed. General Schimmelfennig obstructed the wood road in his front, south of the Plank road, with abatis. The night passed off quietly, the troops of my division remaining in the position above indicated.
Early in the morning of May 2, General Hooker passed along the whole line, and was received by officers and men with great demonstrations of enthusiasm.
As the general disposition made of the rest of the corps had great influence upon the part taken by my division in the action of the evening, I beg leave to say a few words about the distribution of the forces of the First and Second Divisions in connection with mine. The extreme right was occupied by General Devens' (First) brigade, under Colonel von Gilsa, consisting of the Forty-first, Forty-fifth, and Fifty-fourth New York, and the One hundred and fifty-third Pennsylvania. Part of this brigade (two regiments) was formed at an angle with the old turnpike, fronting nearly west. On the road itself one section of Cap-