War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0282 Chapter XXXIX. N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

range, in front and on my right flank. The Ninety-fifth New York Volunteers and the Fourteenth Brooklyn had been detached to the left, by order of General Reynolds, to support the second Maine Battery and to hold the enemy in check until other troops could arrive. The three regiments under my immediate command fought as only brave men can fight, and held their ground until ordered to fall back, by General Wadsworth, to the woods on the newt ridge. The Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania and Seventy-sixth New York fell back. The One hundred and forty-seventh did not receive the order, in consequence of Lieutenant-Colonel Miller being wounded at the moment of receiving it. Major Harney held the regiment to its position until the enemy were in possession of the railroad cut on his left, when it was impossible for him to retire until relieved by a charge on the enemy from the left by the Sixth Wisconsin, Ninety-fifth New York, and fourteenth Brooklyn, which resulted in capturing a large body of the enemy and enabling Major Harney to bring off the remainder of his regiment. The loss of this gallant regiment was fearful at this point, being 2 officers killed and 10 wounded, 42 men killed and 153 wounded-207 out of 380 men and officers within half an hour. The Seventy-sixth New York fared no better. They went in with 348 men and 27 officers; their loss during the same time was 2 officers killed, 16 wounded, 27 men killed, and 124 wounded within thirty minutes. The loss of the Fifty-sixth Pennsylvania was also severe. They went into action with 17 officers and 235 men, and lost 6 officers wounded, 1 mortally, and 8 men killed and 64 wounded at that point. after falling back to the woods, and subsequently farther back, I received orders again to advance and occupy the crest of the ridge. Although reduced by a loss of half their numbers, the men bravely and cheerfully moved back to renew the fight. On my way back, I was joined by the Ninety-fifth New York, Fourteenth Brooklyn, and Sixth Wisconsin. After occupying the old ground from half to three quarters of an hour, I discovered the enemy putting a battery in position on my right flank and moving forward large bodies of infantry in the same direction. This being reported to General Wadsworth, he directed me to take such a position as I judged proper. I left the Fourteenth Brooklyn to assist the Sixth Wisconsin in supporting the battery, and with the balance of the brigade present changed front to the right, and endeavored to hold the enemy in check as best I could, having no support on either my right or left until 2 o'clock, when a brigade from the Second Division formed on my right, and the Eleventh Corps came in on the right of them. Immediately after, a column of the enemy moved on the Second Division. I at once pushed my brigade through the woods, came in on their flank, and opened so hot a fire on them that one regiment threw down their arms and surrendered. By this time the enemy was so close on my left flank that I again changed front, and came into line on Robinson's left, where I remained until out of ammunition, and was relieved by other troops, when I fell back under the hill, and sent for ammunition. The Eleventh Corps was already moving into town, and soon the enemy appeared, advancing in line of battle. After waiting about twenty minutes, I moved the brigade to the railroad, with a view to forming under cover of its bank and trying go hold him in check there, when I received an order through Colonel Bankhead to send three regiments to aid in repelling the enemy near the seminary.