Eleventh Maine at daylight on the morning of the 23d, and hold the same, if practicable; that other troops would arrive during the day. The Eleventh was accordingly advanced through the strip of woods along the left bank of the Four-Mile Creek, and after a close fight of twelve hours the enemy was pushed back, step by step, tree by tree, beyond the Malvern Hill road and a position secured within fifty yards of the road and about 100 yards from the rebel battery, and commanding both. Rifle-pits were dug and the regiment held the position through the night. Colonel Currie's brigade, of the Nineteenth Corps, having arrived, I received orders from the general during the night to advance to the road at daylight and secure the position, if possible. The Eleventh Maine was accordingly advanced and the road and battery both secured with trifling loss. The Eleventh Maine, which was the only regiment engaged, lost 4 killed, and about same number wounded. This regiment was then relieved by two regiments of Colonel Currie's brigade and returned to camp on the right bank of the creek, after having been three days and three nights constantly in the presence of the enemy, and for the most part fighting.
At 10.30 p.m. the 25th, by orders from the general, I returned to the bluff with the Eleventh Maine, and assumed command of the Union troops below the creek. Colonel Currie's pickets had been driven in and the position on the New Market and Malvern Hill road lost. No part of the woods on the crest in front of the woods was held by him, the enemy holding both. Many of his pickets had been captured, the balance were within the fortifications. Two companies of the Eleventh Maine were thrown forward on the left to secure the entrance of the margin of the wood along the Four-Mile Creek leading to the enemy's position on the Malvern Hill road, and one company, same regiment, placed in the grove on the right; two regiments of Currie's brigade were advanced a few hundred yards to the front and lay in line of battle until morning. At daylight the enemy opened a heavy fusillade from the crest in front of the woods upon the two regiments in the open field, and both regiments retired within the fortifications. Reporting to General Foster that these troops could not be relied upon to retake the lost position on the Malvern Hill road, the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, Third Brigade, Tenth Corps, was ordered to report to me. The Tenth Connecticut, Colonel Otis, having reported, it was placed in reserve, and the Eleventh Maine advanced along the creek in the woods. The enemy was soon met in great force. Stoutly resisting he was slowly but steadily pushed back until confronted in the line of rifle-pits dug and occupied by the Eleventh Maine on the night of the 23d. From this position he could not be dislodged by sharpshooting, so numerous were the enemy, though the opposing lines in some parts were only about fifteen paces apart. I then caused the four pieces of artillery (Lieutenant Dickinson, First Connecticut Battery) to open upon the rebel position. After a most vigorous shelling a charge was ordered and the rifle-pits carried by assault. It was not thought practicable to make any farther advance, though the courage of the rebels seemed broken, as the front of the regiment would have to be too much extended. A position had been secured commanding the New Market and Malvern Hill road and within a few yards of the enemy's main line of works and the rebel battery of four guns, 20-pounder Parrotts. This position was gained against great odds-a division of Longstreet's corps-Kershaw's division, as was learned from prisoners. The contest of sharpshooting was kept up until dark, when the Eleventh Maine was relieved at the front by the Tenth Connecticut, and the Eleventh placed in reserve. General Hancock arrived during the night