Colonel March, deployed as skirmishers, supported by the Twenty-fourth New York, the whole under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Newberry; the first line composed of the Fiftieth Pennsylvania, the Twentieth and First Michigan, under Lieutenant-Colonel Cutcheon, and the second composed of the Forty-sixth New York and Sixtieth Ohio, under Major Stearns. The Third Brigade formed on the right of the road, and when they were ready we advanced. On reaching the plain in front of the Smith house and the enemy's redoubts on this road slight skirmishing occurred with the enemy, who retired without any resistance. They were at this time leveling their abandoned works. My skirmishers moved up and occupied first the Smith house, the redoubts, without any loss. I then stationed the First Michigan Sharpshooters on a road leading to the left from the edge of the open field, and about seventy-five men from the Twenty-fourth New York at the Smith house, part of whom were deployed as skirmishers to the south and west, then advanced the skirmishers and the rest of the Twenty-fourth as support on the road leading west; moved up that road about half a mile until I came to a cross-road, still in the woods. I now brought up the balance of the troops, stationing the Fiftieth Pennsylvania near the Hawks house, which was on the right of this road; the Twentieth Michigan and Forty-sixth New York on the crest of the hill running from the redoubts to the Smith house, where they threw up a temporary breast-work, while the Sixtieth Ohio established skirmishers south and west from the Smith house, this house being their headquarters. About 100 yards in advance of the cross-roads referred to was a clearing, in which was the enemy's cavalry in some force. Although I could not see them, yet my scouts reported hearing commands given by them, which satisfied me they were there in some force. They were slashing timber and blockading roads south and west of this position. I established a picket of the Twenty-fourth New York on the road, and ordered the skirmishers to change direction to the right. The enemy then attacked my picket at the cross-roads, but were repulsed. I immediately halted my skirmishers and re-established my connection with my pickets, and rested here for orders. The Third Brigade picket-line, which was on my right, was attacked and driven in. My right temporarily gave way, but was immediately halted by Lieutenant-Colonel March, and remained in their position. No effort being made to re-establish the Third Brigade line, and fearing the enemy might follow up their little success and permanently occupy a position which commanded the road over which I had to withdraw, I ordered my skirmishers and pickets to fall back and form on the same line as those of the Third Brigade. After receiving notice to retire I ordered back all the regiments to the edge of the woods, and in support of two guns still in position, except the Twentieth, which occupied the rebel redoubt, and the Sixtieth Ohio, at the Smith house. As soon as the guns were withdrawn I ordered back to camp the regiments then with them. It was now dark nearly. An order was then sent to Lieutenant-Colonel Cutcheon to withdraw his regiment and the Sixtieth Ohio and return to camp.
I desire to express my entire satisfaction with the conduct of the regiments in the command and their commanding officers. They behaved nobly on the afternoon of the 30th especially, when the brigade was almost surrounded by the enemy, retiring a short distance and forming a new line, where they stood firm until ordered to retire. All the regiments displayed a steadiness under trying circumstances, which speaks well of their discipline. The same qualities were displayed dur-