War of the Rebellion: Serial 043 Page 0856 N. C., VA., W. VA., MD., PA., ETC Chapter XXXIX.

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back nearly at right angles with the line of the First Corps, Rock Creek running past our front at the distance of 200 to 400 yards. Our position and the front were covered with a heavy growth of timber, free from undergrowth, with large ledges of rock projecting above the surface. These rocks and trees offered good cover for marksmen. The surface was very steep on our left, diminishing to a gentle slope on our right. The Second Brigade was on our right, thrown forward at a right angle to conform to the crest of the hill. On the right of this brigade was the First (Williams') Division, his right resting on an impassable mill-pond on Rock Creek. As soon as we were in position, we began to intrench ourselves and throw up breastworks of the covering height, of logs, cord-wood, stones, and earth. The same was done by the troops on my right. By 12 o'clock we had a good cover for the men. The value of this defense was shown in our subsequent operations by our small loss compared with that of the enemy during the continuous attacks by a vastly superior force. Our skirmishers were thrown out immediately on taking position, and moved toward the creek in our front, when they came to the enemy's pickets. We remained in this position, with occasional firing of the pickets, until 6. 30 p. m., when the First (Williams') Division and the First and Second Brigades of the Second Division were ordered from, my right, leaving the intrenchments of Kane's brigade and Williams' division unoccupied on the withdrawal of the troops. I received orders to occupy the whole of the intrenchments previously occupied by the Twelfth Army Corps with my brigade. This movement was commenced, and the One hundred and thirty-seventh Regiment, on my right, was moved into the position occupied by Kane's (Second) brigade. Before any further movements could be made, we were attacked on the whole of our front by a large force a few minutes before 7 p. m., which were effectually resisted. About 8 p. m. the enemy appeared on our right flank, in the intrenchments (which were thrown back perpendicularly to Kane's line, occupied by Colonel Ireland with the One hundred and thirty-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers) from which William's division had been withdrawn, and attacked the right flank of the One hundred and thirty-seventh Regiment New York Volunteers. Colonel Ireland withdrew his right, throwing back his line perpendicular to the intrenchments in which he had been in position, and presenting his front to the enemy in their new position. At this time the California Regiment, Colonel Smith, reported to assist me. He was ordered into position on the right of Ireland's regiment. They soon fell back and were withdrawn-the commanding officer saying that he had received orders from his commanding general to retire-leaving our right in a very critical position. As soon as the attack commenced, I sent to General Wadsworth, commanding the division of the First Corps on our left, and to General Howard, commanding the Eleventh Corps, posted on the left of the First Corps, for assistance, to which they promptly responded, by sending to my support the Sixth Wisconsin, Colonel Dawes; Fourteenth Brooklyn, Colonel Fowler; One hundred and forty seventh New York, Major Banta* (in all about 355 men), from the First Corps, and the Eighty-second Illinois, Lieutenant-Colonel Salomon; Forty-fifth New York, Colonel Amsberg; Sixty-first Ohio, Colonel McGroarty (in all about 400 men)l, from the Eleventh Corps. These

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*Reference is probably to Major Harney.

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