The Third Maryland Volunteers, having been relieved from duty with the artillery battery, returned and occupied the breastworks on the right, formerly manned by the One hundred and twenty-third New York Volunteers. The One hundred and twenty-third New York Volunteers occupied the open ground between the woods, and erected during the night temporary breastworks thereon by bringing trees from the woods. The other regiments were posted the same as on the night before.
In the movement of the division with other troops on Saturday afternoon, in our front, to drive the enemy from the woods and to the Plank road, my brigade took position between General Ruger's brigade on my left and General Knipe's brigade on my right, advancing on the enemy, as ordered by General Williams in person, "by the right of companies to the front," in double lines, the One hundred and twenty-third and One hundred and forty-fifth New York Volunteers forming one line and the Twentieth Connecticut and the Third Maryland Volunteers making another line. When well into the woods, under a heavy fire of round shot and shell from the enemy's artillery, advancing under the immediate direction of General Williams in person, Major Julius Hayden, U. S. Army (serving on the staff of General Whipple, I believe), came to me with information of the exact position of the enemy, which was to our right and front (which information I sent by an aide-de-camp to General Williams, who was near at hand); whereupon I immediately faced the brigade to the right, and moved to opposite where the enemy was, and commenced the formation of line of battle, intending to briskly charge the enemy, as General Williams had directed me to do, in double-quick, "if the least opportunity offered," it being late in the day, and the importance of driving the enemy to the Plank road before dark being particularity impressed upon me by General Williams in person.
Just as my line of battle for a charge was being completed, the sad disaster to the Eleventh Corps became known. I immediately received orders from General Williams to return in good order to my former position, which order I executed without the loss of an officer or man.
About 1 a.m. on Sunday, May 3, my line of battle was changed, by the order of General Williams, so as to establish two regiments on the right of General Ruger's new line of battle-whose brigade had changed front at right angles with its former position, his left resting near where the left of the Third Maryland had been, and his right extending toward the Plank road-my two regiments being intended to relieve General Knipe (whose brigade was held in reserve) and to occupy the ground between Generals Ruger's and Birney's troops, with my right resting at the Plank road. The Third Maryland Volunteers and One hundred and twenty-third New York Volunteers were the two regiments so posted on the right. The One hundred and forty-fifth New York Volunteers and Twentieth Connecticut Volunteers remained on the left of General Ruger's brigade, forming a line nearly at right angles with the new front, and were moved from their former position, so as to connect with the left of General Ruger's brigade, General Geary's troops taking possession of the defenses made vacant by these changes. The One hundred and twenty-third New York Volunteers and Third Maryland Volunteers worked unceasingly through the night in erecting breastworks of logs, and were so engaged when the enemy opened fire.