line and had fallen back beyond our fire, when, by order of Colonel Baldwin, I again took position behind the fence, and strengthened it by a hastily constructed barricade of rails. Major Stafford was again sent forward with skirmishers into the woods beyond the open field. Companies A, C and G were detailed on this duty, under the respective commanders, captain Hooker, first Lieutenant Boyer, and Captain Trapp. Company G, which had skirmished from the beginning of the action, was soon after relieved by Company E, under command of Captain Dornbush. Information was sent me that the enemy were now moving to our right, which was promptly communicated to Colonel Baldwin. About sunset my skirmishers were pressed back with serious loss to within a few yards of the regiment, where they were exposed to so hot a fire from the enemy that I recalled them to tempt the enemy into the open field. In this skirmish Captain Dornbush was seriously wounded in the thigh, and the command of his company devolved on First Lieutenant Leonard.
Finding the enemy not disposed to enter the open, and the firing having increased on my right, I sent Company A again into the field as skirmishers to prevent the enemy's getting too close to my front unobserved, the nature of the ground being such as to raise an apprehension of that character. This company was in the act of deploying when it found itself exposed to a very hot fire on its right flank, and immediately took position to meet it and opened fire warmly in return. At this instant General Willich's regiment, on my immediate right, opened fire in line, and warned by all these indications where the real attack would come I hastily recalled the skirmishers, intending to meet it by a volley at short range. Unfortunately the recall of the skirmishers, who fell back firing, and the heavy roll of musketry on our right, with the whistling of the enemy's bullets, set the guns of my right company going and an irregular file fire ran along my front from right to left, mainly directed to the enemy in my front. Meantime, I strove in vain to make myself hear to stop the firing and to cal the regiment to attention. In thirty seconds the regiment on my right was broken and running to the rear in great confusion, and while I was striking my men (who were lying down) with the flat of my sword to get their attention the rebel line was seen within 40 yards of my right flank moving rapidly up perpendicularly to it. I was barely able to get my men to their feet in time to see the rebel colors flaunted almost in their faces, and their guns being mostly unloaded I directed them to retire. The regiment fell back about 150 yards, and rallying handsomely upon the colors, delivered a withering fire upon the enemy, which checked his advance and drew in return a storm of grape, canister, and musketry. The contest raged till long after darkness and the dense smoke of battle had shut out everything form view but the flash of the enemy's guns, and only terminated when the enemy ceased to return our fire.
During the fight the sound appeared to indicate that the regiments on our left were being pressed back, and I sent First Lieutenant Chappell to ascertain the state of facts there and assure those troops of our intention and ability to hold our own. I sent the same officer to the right to communicate with General Willich, and his report relieved me from apprehension in both directions. On the termination of the fight I learned from General Willich that an order had been issued for the Second Division to fall back, which I communi-