War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0436 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC. Chapter XXXIX.

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the left of the battery, but soon after removed and the ground was occupied by regiments of this brigade. A few rails were disposed in front of the line, to form a slight shelter. Until 4. 30 p. m. the firing near this position was confined to artillery and the pickets. About this time the Third Corps, holding the line on the left of the Second Corps, and but a short distance from this brigade, was advanced, and the engagement became general. Met by a far superior force of the enemy, the Third Corps was forced to retire, closely pursued. An order was received to send two regiments to the left to report to General Humphreys, and a staff officer came to conduct them. Being dispatched accordingly, two regiments moved rapidly forward and were soon lost to sight in the smoke of the battle. Conducted by the flank through the flying lines of our troops, and left by the staff officer-whom they have not seen since-to their own resources, they formed line of battle, delivered several volleys into the enemy in their front, staggering him for an instant, and, under this cover, withdrew in good order with a few prisoners, but with a loss of nearly one-third of their number. These regiments {the Forty-second New York and Nineteenth Massachusetts

were the last of our troops to fall back at that point, and in their regularity presented a striking contrast with the fugitives. The enemy having an enfilading fire upon the lines of the Third Corps and troops called to its support, his advance was irresistible, its regularity surprising, and its rapidity fearful. An interval of nearly a quarter of a mile was opened from the left of my position, and though re-enforcement were sent in great numbers to fill the gap, they halted, and formed their lines behind the part of the line which still remained firm. Convinced that they were needed at the undefended point, and seeing no general officer to direct, I felt authorized {as a moment's delay might prove fatal

to move them, and I transferred several regiments. When Major-General Hancock came to this point he approved the order, and himself moved others in the same direction. The enemy being now within 30 or 40 yards of the line of this brigade, the men, lying down, poured into him so well-directed a fire that he halted, fell back, and finally broke in great disorder. The rebel General Barksdale was mortally wounded and two colors left on the ground within 20 yards of the line of the Seventh Michigan Volunteers. In his advance the enemy drove in some batteries placed before the line. one was driven through the line of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers, which was lying down, and two guns left scarcely 6 feet in rear of that regiment. The one nearer the line was fired in that position, blowing a gap, and severely burning several men. Had not this portion of the line, which was not yet joined on its left by re-enforcement, stood firm, the interval would at least have been greatly increased and the result might have been incalculably disastrous. For a few moments the enemy held possession of a portion of a disabled battery in front of the line, but was speedily driven from it by the fire from the division. The picket from this brigade made a strong resistance to the advance of the enemy. All its officers were wounded and many men killed or wounded, but few were captured by the enemy. Colonel Revere, Captain Patten, Lieutenant Cowgill, of the Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers; Lieutenant Slafter, seventh Michigan Volunteers; Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas and Lieutenant Pohl-