shire moving by the flank, left in front. Lieutenant Bradshaw indicated the general direction to me, and I sent Lieutenant Van Keuren for definite orders. Diverging a little to the right again to clear an open pond, I had the regiment brought into column by company, and closed en masse on the tenth company. The enemy's fire began to be felt, not very severely, but it was increasing as we approached.
We met the skirmishers of the Seventh Connecticut falling back, firing, before the enemy, who showed, I judge, two battalions in line. I distinctly ordered the Seventh New Hampshire to deploy on the eighth company, which would have brought the left of the line near the pond. Somebody must have misunderstood the order, for a portion of the regiment was going wrong, when myself and staff and Colonel Abbott repeated it vigorously, but vainly. All semblance of organization was lost in a few moment, save with about one company, which faced the enemy and opened fire. The remainder constantly drifted back, suffering from the fire which a few moments' decision and energy would have checked, if not suppressed. Most of the officers went back with their men, trying to rally them. The brave color-bearer, Sergt. Thomas H. Simington, Company B, obeyed every word or signal, and sometimes faced the enemy alone. Though wounded, he carried the colors to the end of the battle. Lieutenant George W. Taylor, Company B, acting adjutant of the regiment, was fearless and incessantly active, and I sorrow to record that later in the action he fell fatally wounded in the head.
Lieutenant Van Keuren, of my staff, asked a cavalry officer to deploy his company and stop the fugitives, and the latter promptly complied. Colonel Abbott obtained a similar favor and gathered nearly 200 of his men on the right of the field, where they kept up a lively fire until they heard the order to retreat.
Reporting the break to the general, I hastened back, and after a short attempt to rally the scattered men, I met the colors and buglers of the Seventh Connecticut, and the officers soon all gathered there with their reserves and skirmishers. They had been hotly engaged a very considerable time alone, and had an opportunity, which I believe they improved, to do good service. Colonel Barton's brigade was just now engaged, and moving the Seventh Connecticut to a position a little to the left and in rear of his left, I sent for the reserved ammunition, a portion of the battalion being entirely exhausted, and the others having a limited supply. Had they gone as they were, they would very soon have been compelled to fall back. As soon as the supply arrived, I moved the battalion forward on the left of Barton's brigade, which was slowly and stubbornly retiring. The Eighth U. S. Colored Infantry, moving up on the left, went into line and found itself in a very hot fight. The regiment is new and was never before in battle, and I deem it creditable to both officers and men that they endured so long, and to the best of their ability returned a fire which killed and wounded over half their number.
Colonel Fribley died on the field, and the only other field officer present, Major Burritt, was severely wounded. They fell back, and were rallied on the edge of the field by the next in rank, Captain R. C. Bailey. Three color-bearers and 5 of the color guard were killed or wounded.
The Seventh Connecticut, having been brought to the positions above described, soon opened fire, with guide sights at 600 [yards], upon a rebel column and disordered and checked it. I kept them