First and Third Divisions, for the purpose of protecting Ledlie's right flank from attack and to establish a line on the crest of a ravine running nearly at right angles to the enemy's line, and I ordered that if possible the advance should be to the right of the explosion. Owing to the fuse becoming damp and going out and having to be renewed, a delay of about an hour occurred in springing the mine; its final explosion, however, was entirely successful and the enemy's work destroyed for some distance. The leading regiments began to move almost at once, passing into and through a portion of the line from which the enemy were driven and moving to the right. The smoke and dust were so great at this time that nothing could be seen, and the leading regiments got farther to the left than was intended, coming thus in contact with some troops of the First Division and causing some confusion, which was aggravated by the commanding officer of the left regiment being mortally wounded, as it entered the lines of the enemy's works. The movement was further somewhat embarrassed by some of the troops of the First Division moving to the right instead of forward. The rest of my division continued moving forward, but found it impossible to proceed on account of the troops of the preceding division having halted in the crater of the mine and to the right of it. The ground to the right of the mined work in rear of the enemy's intrenchments was found to be much cut up with small pits and traverses, which were filled by the enemy, as well as a line of pits on the ravine. After the troops in advance had moved some distance to the right and were driving the enemy, Colonel White, who had charge of the advance-wounded and a prisoner-finding that he was meeting a good deal of opposition, and that the troops of the other divisions did not advance, halted for further orders. Finding that my leading brigade was being thrown into confusion by being mixed with the troops of the other divisions, and that the enemy, who at first seemed somewhat stunned, was rapidly rallying and beginning to open a brisk fire, I ordered General Griffin, commanding the leading brigade, to move forward without any reference to the other troops and attack the enemy in front. He then passed the rest of his command over and in front of the other troops, which were in confusion, and his troops became very much broken up. The fire having become by this time very hot, it was impossible to properly reform his ranks. Several charges were undertaken, however, and some ground gained.
I had ordered Colonel Bliss to move with such portion of his brigade [the First] as I had for duty closely in support of the Second Brigade, and to cover the right flank. Finding, however, that he could not get on in consequence of the stoppage of the troops in front and the great confusion arising from the great crowd of troops into such a limited space, I ordered him to move a portion of his force to the right, down the enemy's line of works, and also to attack the enemy's line at the ravine. Colonel Bliss disposed three small regiments on the right of the ground held by Griffin to charge down the enemy's line to the right, and disposed two regiments to attack on the right near the ravine, which last attack was to follow instantly that the first commenced. After the troops were all formed, owing to a peremptory order from General Burnside to attack the crest, the direction of the regiments on Griffin's right had to be changed, and they charged nearly directly up the hill, the Forty-fifth Pennsylvania reaching nearly to the house on the top of the hill; but not being supported they were unable to maintain their position, and fell back to a ditch or covered way leading to the work we had taken, which they held in conjunction with some