Egan to change front to the rear. Having a large number of recruits, and but few officers and time precious, I deemed it best to about-face and move on the enemy with my rear rank in front, General Egan keeping the Seventh and Fifth New Jersey Volunteers (Colonel Price), as a reserve for the front line. I moved to the slope of the hill and halted a few moments. The enemy were advancing in my rear (now front) and also along the plank road. I ordered Colonel Schoonover, commanding Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, to wheel the left wing of his regiment (now the right) to oppose the enemy's movements in that direction, which he did, and had the desired effect. A charge was now ordered and made with the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers (Lieutenant-Colonel Tappen), Eighth New Jersey Volunteers (Colonel Ramsey), Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers (Captain Granger), and the one wing of the Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers (Lieutenant Cummings). We moved down the hill on the charge over the gulleys and through the thick hazel-brush under a severe flank fire. On reaching the high ground on the opposite side I received a severe fire in our front, which was too much for our raw recruits to stand and they broke. We tried to rally them on the low ground, but could not. On reaching the high ground we reformed very nicely with a full line of battle. The enemy again advanced in our front, when our line opened a destructive fire upon them, driving them back to the shelter of the wood. As our charge was made the enemy tried to get a battery into position in front of our left center, but seeing us charging upon them, they limbered up and moved off as my left regiment (One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers) swung around onto them. Had my left extended the distance of one more regiment it could have captured the battery entire. As it was, we captured many prisoners. The enemy opened with musketry, shell, and canister from all sides. For a short time we were completely surrounded, receiving a fire from four directions. Had our line broken while in this critical situation all would have been lost, but the gallantry displayed by officers and men of your entire command saved the day. I had but few officers and can truly say they did nobly. The enemy now moved on our right (now left flank) with the intention of making an attack there. I was ordered by General Egan to change position of some of my regiments so as to form a second line, which I did, connecting with Second Division troops, and also sent men forward to strengthen the outer line. I have never seen officers work harder and brave danger more willingly than all did on that day, without an exception.
My staff did anything that I could desire; all deserve great credit.
I regret exceedingly the loss of Captains Granger and McTavish, of the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers, and Chamberlain, of the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers, who were killed while showing an example of the greatest heroism. Their loss will be mourned by all who wish to see this rebellion crushed. I would also mention Captain Beahen, Eighth New Jersey Volunteers, who was wounded while behaving handsomely, rallying his men for a second charge.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
Captain A. H. EMBLER,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Second Army Corps.