War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0330 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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grand advance of the enemy's infantry began. From my position I was enabled to trace their formation for at least 2 miles. It appeared to be a nearly continuous line of deployed battalions, with other battalions in mass or reserve. Their line being formed not parallel but obliquely to ours, their left first became engaged with the troops on the northern prolongation of Seminary Ridge. The battalions engaged soon took a direction parallel to those opposed to them, thus causing a break in their line and exposing the flank of those engaged to the fire of my two regiments in the Chambersburg road. Though at the longest range of our pieces, we poured a most destructive fire upon their flanks, and, together with the fire in their front, scattered them over the fields. A heavy force was then formed in two lines parallel to the Chambersburg road, and pressed forward to the attack of my position. Anticipating this, I had sent Colonel Dwight (One hundred and forty-ninth) forward to occupy a deep railroad cutting about 100 yards from the road, and when they came to a fence within pistol-shot of his line he gave them a staggering volley; reloading as they climbed the fence, and waiting till they came within 30 yards, gave them another volley, and charged, driving them back over the fence in utter confusion. Returning to the cut, he found that the enemy had planted a battery which perfectly enfiladed and made it untenable, and he was obliged to fall back to the road. Colonel Dana meanwhile had been engaged with the enemy directly in his front and preventing them from outflanking Colonel Dwight on the right, and Colonel Wister had been holding our original line, now the left front. Being wounded about this time and carried from the field, I cannot speak so definitely of the remainder of the action. Colonel Wister (One hundred and fiftieth) assumed command of the brigade, and finding the enemy were advancing from the northwest, brought up his own regiment, and, making a new disposition, drove back that force. Again they advanced from the north, and, struggling over the railroad cut, came nearly to the road, but a vigorous bayonet charge drove them back. Another attack from the west was met by another change of front and repulsed. Colonel Wister being wounded, the command devolved on Colonel Dana, who continued to contest the position with varying fortunes until it was reported that the enemy had turned his left flank as well as his right. An officer who was sent to learn the truth of the report found the wood occupied by the enemy; this made a retreat necessary to prevent being completely surrounded, and the command fell back, making an occasional stand was made and a battery brought off; thence the retreat was continued through the town, in which the troops suffered heavily from the fire of the enemy, who already occupied the streets on both their flanks. Of the part taken by the remnant of my brigade in the battle of the 2nd and 3d, report was made by Colonel Dana, commanding. No language can do justice to the conduct of my officers and men on the bloody "first day; " to the coolness with which they watched and awaited, under a fierce storm of shot and shell, the approach of the enemy's overwhelming masses; their ready obedience to orders, and the prompt and perfect execution, under fire, of all the tactics of the battle-field; to the fierceness of their repeated attacks, or to the desperate tenacity of their resistance.