On the afternoon of the following day (23d), skirmishing was commenced between the armies in our front, and at about 3 p.m. the corps proceeded to move toward the position assigned it, the First Brigade, Second Division, of which my command forms part, being arranged in two lines, the outer consisting of the One hundred and thirty-fourth New York on the right and the Thirty-third New Jersey on the left in deployed order, with skirmishers about 150 paces in advance; the second comprising the Seventy-third and Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania and One hundred and fifty-fourth New York in columns en masse at supporting distance. These dispositions were made in an open field about 500 yards from Fort Wood, fronting Citico Creek, with the left flank protected by a railroad by a railroad embankment. The order to forward was given, and the regiment proceeded to advance. Hardly had the line of skirmishers gained 10 paces are it was fired upon from the woods skirting the creek, from behind the railroad bridge and from under cover of several buildings. The enemy being well protected at short range and in considerable force, fired very destructively, and Captain Boggs, of Company A, fell wounded at the first discharge while gallantly advancing his deployed line. Notwithstanding the severity of the fire the advance was continued, and Captain O'Connor, with his company, was sent to re-enforce the line in front. This additional force compelled the enemy to leave their position on this side, and to retire beyond the Creek. My line of skirmishers had now reached the Creek, and on its bank a very hot and lively contest ensued, the contending parties being but 10 yards apart. Both having availed themselves of the shelter of the trees, but little loss was inflicted.
In the absence of orders, and believing it was the intention to advance until the field was entirely won, I moved forward Company E, Captain Field commanding, and ordered Captain O'Connor to cross the creek at all hazards, his force now amounting to about 160 men, at the same time charging forward with the rest of the regiment under a heavy fire to within 50 yards of the enemy behind the walls of the bridge,so as to give him support. Simultaneously I sent the major to acquaint the brigade commander with our position and for further orders. The order came to merely hold the bridge, but i was not received in time to check the onward progress of our skirmishers who dashed into the stream regardless of depth, with water to the waist, moving on in spite of the determined resistance offered, thus gaining foothold on the opposite bank. In obedience to instructions received. I ordered Captain O'Connor to hold this side of the creek, and to prevent the enemy from crossing in turn. Night soon ended the firing, and at about 8 p.m. the regiment was relieved by the Twenty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, bivouacking for the night about 300 yards in rear.
Accompanying you will find a list* of the names of the killed and wounded. The loss in officers was unusually severe. Captain Wal, dron, Company I, was instantly killed at the head of his company-while the regiment was charging in line. A soldier by profession, and a veteran of former fight, he yielded his life in defense of the flag he had sworn to support. I sympathize with Captain Boggs, Lieutenant Toffey, and the rest of the wounded. It is consoling to know they were injured in a righteous cause with face to the foe.
As for the officers and men, all performed their duty unflinchingly,
*Embodied in revised statement, p. 82.