First Maine Veteran Volunteers; the second, of the Seventy-seventh New York Volunteers, One hundred and twenty-second New York Volunteers, Forty-third New York Volunteers. We were immediately ordered to move forward, and at the same time to hold the right, so that the left should swing forward and extend across the pike. We had moved but a short distance when we were halted and ordered to move back and take position on the crest of the hill just left. This we did, and seeing the enemy moving to our left the regiments were so moved that when they had reached the crest they were formed on the left of the Second Brigade, in one line, in the following order, from right to left: Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Seventy-seventh New York Forty-ninth New York Volunteers, First Maine Veteran Volunteers, One hundred and twenty-second New York Volunteers. The Forty-third New York was thrown slightly to the rear, in reserve, on the left. Our line, conforming to the crest of the hill, formed an arc of a circle. Two companies of the First Maine were thrown forward and to the left as skirmishers,a nd the enemy pressing them strongly and moving past their left (the skirmish line previously thrown out from the Vermont Brigade having retired), they were re-enforced by two companies of the Forty-third New York Volunteers, and the line extended to the left, connecting with a cavalry skirmish line. The three left regiments, as soon as formed on the hill, threw up a slight breast-work of rails, and the three right regiments sent forward vedettes.
During all this time the fog had been very dense, and the smoke from the guns of our skirmishers, who were warmly engaged with the foe, rendered the atmosphere still more dense, so that it was almost impossible to see through it a short distance, when suddenly the enemy appeared in two lines, within thirty yards of our line of battle. The density of the fog had allowed them to rush over our vedettes without their being able to warn the line, and under cover of the steepness of the hill they approached thus near unobserved. Instantly upon seeing the lines, ours was ordered to fire, which they did, and which was returned almost simultaneously by the enemy. Seeing the lines waver a charge was ordered, which was executed in fine style, driving the enemy off the hill, they leaving a number of prisoners in our hands, together with some of their killed and wounded. It was while leading in this charge that the commanding officers of the One hundred and twenty-second New York Volunteers and Sixty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, Major J. M. Brower and Captain D. J. Taylor, were killed, both brave and faithful soldiers. We followed them about 100 yards, when the regiments were ordered back and directed to reform on the crest of the hill in the position just vacated. Mounted officers (who were afterward said by prisoners to be General Early and staff, and two of whose horses succeeded in killing) were seen through the mist reforming and urging their men to a second assault, and we had scarcely reformed on the hill when the enemy appeared again on the crest within thirty yards of our lines, and, as before, we poured a heavy volley into them, charging, when they fled in the wildest confusion. We returned to the hill again, and the enemy opened a very heavy artillery fire upon us. We remained in this position a few moments, when orders came to retire, and General Bidwell went to the right of his line to superintend the movement, when he was mortally wounded by a shell, and a second afterward Captain G. S. Orr, of his staff, lost an arm. Lieutenant Colonel W. B. French assumed command, and the lines were retired without the slightest confusion or disorder about 300 yards, obliquing toward the Winchester pike. We then took position in one line on a road running perpendicular to the Winchester