port there, as we approached the White Oak road, the direction of our movements being such as to present that flank first to the enemy's position along the road. I quote the following from General Chamberlan's report:
I was desired by General Griffin to regain the field which these troops had yielded. My men forded a stream nearly waist deep, formed in two lines, Major Glenn having the advance, and pushed the enemy steadily before them. Major-General Ayres' division supported me on the left en echelon by brigade, the skirmishers of the First Division, in charge of General Pearson, in their front. We advanced in this way a mile or more into the edge of the field it was desired to retake. Up to this time we had been opposed by only a skirmish line, but quite a heavy fire now met us, and a line of battle could be plainly seen in the opposite edge of the woods, and in a line of breast-works in the open field, in force at least equal to our own. I was now ordered by Major-General Warren to haled and take the defensive. My first line had now gained a slight crest in the open field, where they were subjected to a severe fire from the works in front and from the woods on each flank. As it appeared that the enemy's position might be carried with no greater loss than it would cost us merely to hold our ground, and the men were eager to charge over the field, I reported this to General Griffin and received permission to renew the attack. My command was brought into line ad put in motion. A severe oblique fire on my right, to together with the artillery which now opened from the enemy's works, caused the One hundred and ninety-eighth to waver for a moment. I then requested General Gregory, who reported to me with his brigade, to move rapidly into the woods on or right by battalion en echelon by the left, so as to break this flank attack, and possibly to turn the enemy's left at the same moment that I should charge the works directly in front at a run. This plan was so handsomely executed by all that the result was completely successful. The woods and the work were carried, with several prisoners and one battle-flag, and the line advanced some 300 yards across the White Oak road.
My loss in this action was not more than 75, but it included some of my best officers and men.
It would be unjust not to mention the services of Major Glenn and colonel Sniper in this affair, whose bravery and energy I relied upon for the successful execution of my plans. I would also express my obligations to General Gregory for his quick comprehension of my wished, and for his efficient aid.; I may be permitted also to mention the gallantry of Captain Folder, assistant adjutant-general of division, who rode into the hottest fire to bring my orders, having his horse killed under him in doing so, and who by his conduct and bearing showed an example worthy of all praise.
During the night we buried our dead and cared for our wounded, and bivouacked in the line.
The temporary halt was necessitated by the threatening attitude the enemy's position exhibited, as above described by General Chamberlain, and in order to get the remainder of the corps up and well in hand for a weighty assault. This having been effected, the order to advance was given, with the result as described in the quotation from General Chamberlain's report.
At 3.40 p. m. I wrote from the White Oak [road] the following dispatch to General Webb:
We have driven the enemy, I think, into his breast-works. The prisoners report General Lee here to-day, and also that their breast-works are filled with troops. We have prisoners from a portion of Pickett's and Johnson's divisions. General Chamberlain's brigade acted with much gallantry in this advance, capturing nearly the entire Fifty-sixth Virginia Regiment with its flag.
With the elation due to our success, I thought we might be able to carry the enemy's breast-works at once, and thus force in their right flank and carry all their line south of Hatcher's Run. I at once commenced a personal reconnaissance for this purpose, and superintended personally the advance of our skirmishers to gain points of observation. We thus drew a very severe fire from the line, particularly of artillery. The examination showed me that the enemy's defenses were as complete and as well located as any I had ever been opposed to.