ham's brigade, and portions of Candy's brigade engaged the enemy furiously at short range, driving him again until after dark, when my command was halted close under the enemy's batteries and intrenchments near New Hope Church. The night was intensely dark, and a very severe thunder-storm, with cold, pelting rain, added to the gloom. It was, therefore, impossible to form a regular line with the troops, and all the dispositions of them we could make was by the fitful flashes of lightning. Breast-works were thrown up as fast as possible during the night, and the dead and wounded were all cared for before morning.
May 26, when dawn came I found the position held by my troops to be a ridge of considerable natural strength confronting another ridge at a distance of from 80 yards on the left to 300 yards on the right, on which were the enemy's main lines. Around us in every direction were thick woods. The road to New Hope Church passed through my lines occupied by Candy's brigade, the flank of which, on the left of the road, was not in connection with any other troops. At this point near the road my lines were closest to those opposing us, and sharpshooters from Candy's brigade were so posted as to command a battery in his front, preventing the enemy from working his guns, excepting now and then to deliver an occasional shot. Another battery in Cobham's front was similarly commanded by sharpshooters from his brigade. Strong skirmish lines were posted along our front and drove the enemy's skirmishers into their main line of intrenchments and kept them there for the most part during the succeeding days that we remained in this position. The battle of the 25th was altogether in the woods, affording no opportunity for the use of artillery on our side. In my front this day I ascertained that the enemy had seventeen pieces of artillery well intrenched in their second line of works on top of the ridge occupied by them. This line of works was very strong, with re-entering angles. From my skirmish line it could be closely reconnoitered being distant only about 100 yards. In addition to this they occupied in strong force a line of breast-works nearer us at the foot of the ridge. To this work their skirmishers were all driven, and my skirmishers, advanced to the farthest point possible, were ordered to hold them there and to cover with their own fire, if possible, every piece of artillery posted in our front. Directions were also given when night came for the construction of log rifle-pits of the V pattern for the protection of my skirmishers and sharpshooters, the number of casualties among them being quite large during the day. At noon troops of General Stanley's division, Fourth Corps, came up and connected on my left by a refused line, and by order of Major-General Thomas relieved five regiments of Candy's brigade, which had held the left of the road since the evening of yesterday. My entire division was now formed on the right of the road from left to right, in the following order: Candy's brigade, Lockman's, then Coburn's, brigade, of Butterfield's division, and on his right Cobham's brigade, of my division. Two-thirds of each brigade formed the front line. The remainder was placed in reserve near the foot of the ridge. Under protection of our sharpshooters breast-works were erected during the day, and, wherever possible, the timber in front was slashed, forming an abatis. All of my artillery, twelve pieces, was placed in position along my line during the day and night. The enemy made frequent sorties, attempting to drive in my skirmishers, establish their own line, and prevent