War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0374 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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disorder in front of the Third Division were moved to the right, and re-enforced the line attacking Gibbon's division. The right of the attacking line having been repulsed by Hall's and Harrow's brigades. of the latter division, assisted by the fire of the Vermont regiments before referred to, doubled to its left and also re-enforced the center, and thus the attack was in its fullest strength opposite the brigade of General Webb. This brigade was disposed in two lines. Two regiments of the brigade, the Sixty-ninth and Seventy-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, were behind a low stone wall and a slight breastwork hastily constructed by them, the remainder of the brigade being behind the crest some 60 paces to the rear, and so disposed as to fire over the heads of those in front. When the enemy's line had nearly reached the stone wall, led by General Armistead, the most of that part of Webb's brigade posted here abandoned their position, but fortunately did mat retreat entirely. They were, by the personal bravery of General Webb and his officers, immediately formed behind the crest before referred to, which was occupied by the remnant of the brigade. Emboldened by seeing this indication of weakness, the enemy pushed forward more pertinaciously, numbers of them crossing over the breastwork abandoned by the troops, The fight here became very close and deadly. The enemy's battle-flags were soon seen waving on the stone wall. Passing at this time, Colonel Devereux, commanding the Nineteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, anxious to be in the right place, applied to me for permission to move his regiment to the right and to the front, where the line had been broken. I granted it, and his regiment and Colonel Mallon's (Forty-second New York Volunteers, on his right) proceeded there at once; but the enemy having left Colonel Hall's front, as described before, this officer promptly moved his command by the right flank to still further re-enforce the position of General Webb, and was immediately followed by Harrow's brigade. The movement was executed, but not without confusion, owing to many men leaving their ranks to fire at the enemy from the breastwork. The situation was now very peculiar. The men of all the brigades had in some measure lost their regimental organization, but individually they were firm. The ambition of individual commanders to promptly cover the point penetrated by the enemy, the smoke of battle, and the intensity of the close engagement, caused this confusion. The point, however, was now covered. Irregular formation our line would have stood four ranks deep. The colors of the different regiments were now advanced, waving in defiance of the long line of battle-flags presented by the enemy. The men pressed firmly after them, under the energetic commands and example of their officers, and after a few moments of desperate fighting the enemy's troops were repulsed threw down their arms, and sought safety in flight or by throwing themselves on the ground to escape our fire. The battle-flags were ours and the victory was won. Gibbon; s division secured 12 stand of colors and prisoners enough to swill the number captured by the corps to about 4, 500. While the enemy was still in front of Gibbon's division, I directed Colonel [General] Stannard to send two regiments of his Vermont Brigade, First Corps, to a point which would strike the enemy on the right flank. I cannot report on the execution of this order, as Colonel [General] Stannard's report has not passed through my hands; but from the good conduct of these troops during the action