ordered two regiments each from Colonel Howell's brigade, Colonel Hawley's brigade, and Colonel Plaisted's brigade. In the meantime the pickets had advanced beyond Ware Bottom Church to Doctor Howlett's house and occupied a line extending from that point toward the Appomattox, which line had just been abandoned by the enemy. In obedience to your instructions, I moved through this line of works to the front onto the old turnpike, my left passing near the Widow Clay's house. On the old turnpike I found a third line of works, abandoned by the enemy, they evidently falling back toward the new turnpike. The troops under my command were pushed forward as rapidly as possible toward the new turnpike, the Thirty-ninth Illinois, of Colonel Howell's brigade, being in the advance as skirmishers. At this juncture General Ames' command came up and took a road leading to the turnpike, bearing to the left from the enemy's line of works, while, I with the Seventh and Third New Hampshire, of Colonel Hawley's brigade, preceded by the Thirty-ninth Illinois, advanced on the direct road through the swamp, intending to strike the turnpike at a point near Winfree's, this side of and a little southwest of Chester Station. I understood that part of General Ames' command had reached the turnpike, half or three-quarters of a mile south of this point, whereupon I ordered the Thirty-ninth Illinois to push forward as rapidly as possible and occupy the turnpike. The left of my line succeeded in reaching the turnpike and was gradually gaining it toward the right. When my right had reached it, within about a quarter of a mile, I found myself sharply engaged with the enemy, whose strength at that moment I was unable to ascertain. I immediately ordered the Third and Seventh New Hamsphire Regiments forward in line of battle to occupy the line of the skirmishers and support them. The Seventh New Hampshire, Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson, occupied the left of the road toward General Ames, the Third New Hampshire on the right of the road toward Doctor Howlett's house, the Thirty-ninth Illinois being deployed in front of this line of skirmishers.
The enemy continued to advance and develop, a force approaching on my right, evidently intending to get between my right and the intrenchments. This force advanced in three distinct lines of battle, one in rear of the other, in view of which I ordered my whole line to pass toward the right. During this time the enemy kept up a shrap firing, and moved a force toward my left and General Ames' right, which was reported to be in two lines of battle, preceded by skirmishers. I immediately sent word to General Terry requesting him to move up the Sixty-seventh Ohio, of Colonel Howell's brigade, to check the enemy advancing on my right, which was done. Upon his coming into possession of the facts, I received his order to retire toward the right, and subsequently to retire in rear of the swamp, which order I obeyed, and remained in this position something over an hour. The enemy failed to make any successful advance on this position. During this time that portion of my line occupied by Colonel Howell, commanding First Brigade, and Lieutenant-Colonel Plimpton, of the Third Hampshire, and part of the Seventh New Hampshire, was closely engaged with the enemy. Meantime the enemy was reported moving troops toward my left. After taking measures against any possibility of the enemy's turning my left flank I received an order from Brigadier-General Terry to retire to the line of works erected by the enemy between the old and new turnpikes, my left resting at Mrs. Clay's house, which position I occupied until ordered to return to the intrenchments.