War of the Rebellion: Serial 090 Page 0290 OPERATIONS IN N. VA., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LV.

Search Civil War Official Records

ments halted and marched in the opposite direction, at the same time urging the fugitives about them to join these perfect organizations, in whose ranks they would find an opportunity to fight with effect. I am happy to say that this was done in many instances and good muskets were thus made instantly available against the enemy. One case worthy of mention is that of the colors of the Fourteenth New Hampshire Volunteers, which joined the Eight Regiment Vermont Volunteers, and continuing with that gallant regiment, attracted many men to it, whose services were valuable. While thus moving these regiments to the right, with the intention of renewing the attack there, and in the hope of being able to outflank the enemy, I was informed that the regiments had been moved to the left by General McMillan on an order from the brevet major-general commanding the corps, which order had not been sent through me. I knew that the necessity must be urgent which could remove one of my brigades to a different portion of the field without my knowledge. I therefore ordered these regiments to be halted while I went to the brevet major-general commanding the corps. I immediately represented to him that all the force possible should go to the right, as that was the point to continue the attack, and as there was there but the single line of the First Brigade of this division. But the necessity which had caused the Second Brigade to be moved to the left still weighed with he brevet major-general commanding, and their movement to the left was renewed under the eye and direction of their brigade commander. Two of these regiments, viz, the Eighth Vermont and the Twelfth Connecticut Volunteers, were soon sent forward to the front, nearly on the left of the line of the corps. The condition of the Second Division having rendered this distribution of force necessary, all thought of continuing the attack with the First Division was out of the question; the security of the line of the First Brigade alone required attention. Brevet Brigadier-General Beal was directed to protect the right of that line with what remained of the Second Brigade, and at the same time to act as a support to that line. It was supposed that this support would consist of that portion of the Forty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers not engaged in skirmishing and of the One hundred and fourteenth Regiment New York Volunteers, but before the One hundred and sixtieth Regiment New York Volunteers could report to General Beal it became necessary to replace or re-enforce the One hundred and fourteenth Regiment New York Volunteers, which was on the left of the line of the First Brigade. This regiment (One hundred and sixtieth New York), under its intrepid lieutenant-colonel (Van Petten), was ordered to this duty; no more difficult or honorable duty could be assigned to it. The heroic One hundred and fourteenth New York Volunteers, in its exposed position, had lost over 60 percent. of its numbers; it required and intrepid regiment to fill such a position.

Under all these circumstances, and through the directions of the brevet major-general commanding the corps, the position of the First Division now became a purely defensive one; it was posted as follows: Three regiments of the First Brigade and one regiment of the Second Brigade in the front line, on the right, in the edge of wood and along the fence above mentioned; two regiments of the First Brigade (one, the Thirtieth Massachusetts Volunteers, a very small one) and a portion of a regiment of the Second Brigade as a reserve to the above line and observing the right flank; two regiments of the Second Brigade on the left of the line of the corps; five companies of a regiment of the Second Brigade were deployed as skirmishers on the left of the command. This disposition of force remained unchanged until the arrival