beyond, the sharp musketry and artillery firing told plainly where the enemy were. In about three-fourths of an hour I was ordered forward with the cavalry, two pieces without caissons being placed in advance, under Lieutenant Browne. The remaining two sections marched directly in the rear of the Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry. The column had hardly advanced 300 yards, however, before very rapid firing in our rear and vehement cheering, which I recognized too well as being from the enemy, was heard, and in a moment afterward I met the advance of our column returning, and received an order to reverse the battery and return to my former position. This was a slow undertaking, owing to the narrowness of the road, which necessitated the unlimbering of the carriages and reversing each portion of the carriages by themselves. Having accomplished this, i moved rapidly Back reported to the brigadier-general commanding, and by his orders formed the two sections of my battery, bearing on the woods running at right with the road on which we had a few moments before advanced, the remaining section (Lieutenant Browne's) being formed in battery on the woods in which we had just reversed. The front of battery was shortly afterward changed to the right, the pieces thrown forward en echelon, and lieutenant Browne's section brought into position on the right of and about 50 yards distant from the remainder of the battery.
The scene before me was one of indescribable confusion. The Eleventh Army Corps was panic-stricken, and the pack trains, ambulances, artillery carriages, &c., belonging thereto were rushing to and from many of the carriages without drives or teamsters. Not more than 250 yards from the battery there ran a line of fence, and behind this appeared a line of infantry, but in the fast-increasing darkness it was impossible to tell whether they were our own or the enemy's troops. Lieutenant Clark assert positively that he heard them say, " Do not fire on your friends," and these facts, combined with another, that they carried a flag, which, if not the American colors, was certainly very nearly the same as it, deterred me from opening fire from upon the line.
On reporting these facts to the brigadier-general commanding, he ordered me to open fire until i received orders from him, he in the meantime sending his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Thomson, to ascertain the true state of affairs. I was not, however, compelled to wait for his report. He had hardly in the darkness before a bright line of fire and the sharp rattle of musketry told us who were in our front. Almost simultaneously came the order from the brigadier-general commanding to me to fire, and the engagement opened in earnest.
It is useless for me to attempt to describe the heat of the action or the difficulties under which the battery labored in maintaining its position. The brigadier-general commanding, from the exposed position which he kept throughout the action, in the center of my battery, saw it all, and it would only be wearisome to tell him what he saw as well as myself.
The fire of the enemy was very vigorous and well maintained. I trust that of my battery was equally so. the guns were served with great difficulty, owing to the way in which the cannoneers were interfered with in their duties. Carriages, wagons, horses without riders, and panic-stricken infantry were rushing through and through my battery, overturning guns and limbers, smashing my caissons, and trampling my horse-holders under them.
While Lieutenant Browne was bringing his section into position, a caisson without drivers came tearing through, upsetting his right piece