relieved, I was directed to move my command out on the main road to Richmond. As near as I can now recollect this was about noon of the 13th [June]. Proceeding about a mile my advance came upon the enemy strongly posted in a belt of timber in front of Riddell's Shop. After some skirmishing, finding the enemy disposed to contest the position with obstinacy, I directed the Third Indiana and Eighth New York to prepare to fight on foot, and forming them in line of battle advanced into the woods at a double-quick. A brigade of rebel cavalry, dismounted and armed mainly with rifled muskets, held the position, but they soon gave way before the impetuosity of my men, leaving many of their dead and wounded on the field. By this advance I was enabled to cover the road to Malvern Hill (Quaker road), and was directed by the general commanding division not to advance farther. Patrols sent out on the roads to my front developed that the enemy had fallen back from my front to some distance. Being ordered to hold this position until otherwise directed, I formed line of battle with the First Vermont, Third India, and Eighth New York, the left of the line resting on the Quaker road, the right extending well across the road from Bottom's Bridge. The First New Hampshire and Twenty-second New York and Fitzhugh's battery were formed as a supporting line in the field in rear. Three hours passed without any appearance of the enemy, and during this time a slight breast-works was throw up on some parts of the line. At about 6 p.m. the enemy were discovered advancing in strong line of battle and heavy column down the entire, so far as it was developed being infantry. Soon the entire line became heavily engaged. My ammunition being nearly exhausted, and the enemy showing vastly superior numbers, I deemed it prudent to retire to the position held by my second line, which was done in good order. Having reported that I needed re-enforcements in order to hold the enemy in check, two or three regiments of infantry up and were disposed without any direction from me. Until near dark nothing transpired save a good deal of desultory skirmishing along the lines. At near dark the enemy advanced from the cover of the timber in strong line of infantry, and a regiment of our infantry, which had been posted on the right of my line, gave way rapidly and with scarcely a show of resistance, throwing the right of my line into considerable confusion. The left, however, retired in good order, and Fitzhugh's battery was moved off at a walk. Some difficulty, occasioned by getting the horses through a line of battle formed in our rear by General Crawford's division, created a show of confusion and scare upon the part of the cavalry which did not in reality prevail. The command passed to the rear of the infantry and was massed in a field near by until about 10 p.m., when the brigade moved in rear of infantry in direction of Charles City Court-House. At 2 a.m. bivouacked near Nancy's Shop.
The brigade moved soon after daylight on the morning of the 14th, and proceeded to near Harrison's Landing, where supplies were received and issued to the command. While here the enemy attacked the pickets on the road to Saint Mary's Church, but were driven off by the Eighth New York. Moved command to Phillips' and held the approaches. A reconnoitering party sent out three miles toward Malvern Hill returned without meeting the enemy.
On the 15th, with the First Vermont and Eight and Twenty-second New York and a section of Fitzhugh's battery, I made a reconnaissance to Malvern Hill, where we had a sharp skirmish and developed