Mountain, to detach a regiment, thence deploy it forward half a mile to observe the movements of the enemy. The One hundred and thirty-fourth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Jackson, was detached accordingly, taking orders from the division commander, and remained absent from the command until midnight, when Colonel Jackson returned and reported to me with his regiment. In the mean time Brigadier-General Geary, commanding the division, sent orders to me to report to him with the brigade, and sent Captain W. T. Forbes, of his staff, to conduct me. Upon arriving at the position indicated, I was ordered to form in line of battle, uniting my right with the left of the Third Brigade, and to advance in line with it upon the enemy's position across a ravine in our front. The brigade was formed in two lines-the One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, One hundred and nineteenth New York Volunteers, and Seventy-third Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers in the first line; the Thirty-third New Jersey Volunteers forming the second line or reserve, the One hundred and fifty-fourth New York Volunteers deployed to cover its front. At 2 p. m. I received the order to advance. The brigade accordingly advanced across the ravine and over the crest of the hill beyond, where it was halted to await the arrival of the Third Brigade and the crossing of the First Brigade at a point higher up the ravine to our left, our skirmishers driving in the light troops of the enemy, but meeting with no serious resistance as we crossed. As soon as the crossing was effected the entire division advance upon Pine Knob, the Second Brigade in the center. Sharp and continued skirmishing now took place between our skirmishers and those of the enemy. The enemy, however, retired, keeping up a running fire with us until we reached a point within about 200 yards of the rebel works, when the main body became engaged, and the action really began. It was now night. The infantry of the enemy retired to the cover of their works and opened a murderous fire upon us, artillery participating. Farther advance against such works and over abatis and other obstructions in their front was impossible, and we hastily threw up such works to screen ourselves as the nature of the ground and the means at our disposal admitted. Thus far the One hundred and nineteenth and One hundred and fifty-fourth New York Volunteers and the Seventy-third and One hundred and ninth Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers bore the brunt of the action, but at midnight the One hundred and thirty-fourth New York Volunteers arrived, whereupon that regiment and the Thirty-third New Jersey Volunteers were ordered to relieve the first line. The regiments were thus alternately relieved, each adding to the strength and efficiency of our intrenchments during its tour in the front line, until the evacuation of that position by the enemy and our subsequent pursuit of him. The position of the enemy was well chosen for defensive purposes. A succession of small ridges extending toward us from the rebel works exposed those occupying them to a raking fire, while the depressions between were equally swept by the artillery or musketry from the works upon the knob. But the place must necessarily be held, and to advance against abatis and other obstructions in our front, against the fire of musketry and artillery of superior numbers, well posted and intrenched, was impossible, and no eligible positions farther to the rear and well covered were near enough to render our own fire effective. So we were compelled to remain upon the ground where we halted on the night
14 R R-VOL XXXVIII, PT I.