upon these two companies in front, driving them back to the regiment. The returned in good order, the main force covering the movement with an animated and bold fire.
At this moment shells from the enemy's battery played around us, and, being satisfied that the enemy had a much superior force, I ordered the men to return to the woods about 100 yards to our rear, where we formed in line until nearly dark. The enemy's shells falling among our men, we returned to our intrenchments.
In this engagement the officers and men behaved with great bravery and coolness. Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Norton, a most excellent and able officer and brave man, fell upon the field with a severe wound in the hip while guiding and directing the men in their fire.
Our loss in this battle was 4 killed and 7 wounded.
On Saturday, my command again went out, under the command of Colonel Ross, to engage the enemy in connection with the First Division. My regiment was the only one of the Second Brigade that succeeded in getting into line of battle before the order to return to the intrenchments was received, which was done reluctantly, but in good order.
On the 3rd, we were ordered from our intrenchments, with the Third Maryland Regiment, and placed on a line running north and south perpendicularly to the Plank road, with the Third Maryland resting on our right, its right resting on the Plank road, with my left resting on the line formed by the Third Brigade.
On the hill near division headquarters and in our rear were posted several formidable batteries. By felling trees, a breastwork was erected, which was imperfectly completed, when, before sunrise, firing of skirmishers along our right commenced. Skirmishers were moved forward in front, but were soon driven in by the enemy, who began to appear, coming through the woods in heavy mass. Never was there a more effective fire of musketry delivered by any men than was by my command from this time until 9 a. m. Three times were the enemy repulsed, and fled back from our fire, our fire never ceasing except when the men of the Third Brigade came in front in pursuit of the enemy that were retreating from us. This movement on the part of the Third Brigade much embarrassed my men, for they were soon driven back, and as they came straggling back to our front it stopped our fire upon the enemy, who were following them. While the Third Brigade was thus engaged in our front, I was called upon to charge over our breastworks to relieve them, which charge was made with great spirit on the part of the officers and men; but observing that both my right and left were unprotected, and no force in the rear to hold the intrenchments, and my ammunition being exhausted, I ordered the men back to the intrenchments. Here we remained for some time longer, when my men began to inform me that their cartridges were out, and, seeing that the intrenchments on my right were occupied by the rebels, the line on my left abandoned by the Third Brigade, and a battery opening on my right flank, no re-enforcements to be seen near me in my rear, I ordered the men to retire, which they did, coolly, directly up the hill by the house, and to the rear of the batteries in front of the brick house formed in line.
Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the officers and men of this regiment for their bravery and coolness under probably one of the severest fires of musketry and heavy artillery ever experienced. The effectiveness of our fire is demonstrated by the heaps of dead in front
45 R R-VOL XXV, PT I