War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0342 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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corps, the One hundred and forty-third Regiment not yet engaged, but lying down in line of battle to my right. In the meantime the enemy, who had been massing on our right, made a furious advance on the Eleventh Corps in large force, and at the same time moved on my front with one brigade of three regiments, whereupon Colonel Stone ordered me to move my regiment forward and take possession of the railroad cut, about 50 paces to my front; also to plant my colors 20 paces on the left flank of the regiment; all of which was accomplished in good order and while the enemy were moving over the low ground between the two positions; consequently our change of position was unknown to the enemy. My skirmishers, were gradually driven in where I ordered them to take position on the right of the regiment, my men being deployed in single line in the cut, their arms resting on the bank, with, orders to take deliberate aim at the knees of the front rank of the enemy as he came up. My position was undiscovered by the enemy until he reached a rail fence, 22 paces in my front, when he saw my colors fly ing, and immediately ordered the first battalion of his brigade to fire, my regiment not suffering therefrom, as it was directed at the colors. I now ordered my regiment to fire by battalion. Its effect on the enemy was terrible, he being at the time brigade en masse, at 9-pace interval. He now broke to the rear in great confusion. In the meantime I had ordered my regiment to load, when the enemy advanced the second time, and made a most desperate effort to carry my position by assault, in which we handsomely repulsed him by reserving our fire until we could almost reach him with the muzzles of our pieces. Again he fell back. This fight was of the most desperate character, we losing heavily, the enemy's dead and wounded completely covering the ground in our front. At this stage of the contest, and during the heat of the fight in our front, the enemy had planted three or four pieces of artillery in an orchard, on our left, about half a mile distant, commanding the cut I occupied, and had also, under cover of the hill we were fighting over, succeeded in moving up on my left flank part of a brigade, all of which was discovered in time to save my regiment by moving it rapidly back to my first position on the pike, but, I regret to inform you, not in time to save our colors, which were still where I first planted them, 20 paces on the left flank of the regiment, the color-guard all being killed or wounded while defending them. To have saved my colors would have been to advance between two forces of the enemy, both my superiors in numbers; also to have put my command under an enfilade battery fire. It would have been certain surrender or destruction. I saved the regiment and lost the colors. The One hundred and forty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers during all this time had remained in their original position on the pike, but now poured in on the enemy, who were advancing on their front, a vigorous fire, the One hundred and fiftieth still holding stubbornly its first line, although fighting desperate odds. Colonel Stone, commanding brigade, was wounded and carried from the field immediately after ordering me forward to the railroad cut. However, the first disposition of the brigade was not changed during the entire day, although we were actually fighting three of the enemy's brigades with our three regiments-a sufficient comment upon the excellent disposition of the command by Colonel Stone in the beginning of the engagement.