Brigade to his relief, and on proceeding to that part of the line found the troops retiring precipitately. Finding it impossible to rally them, Major Dana, of the division staff, was sent to order Colonel Fitzhugh to move his brigade by the left flank and take up General Davies' position, leaving a regiment to hold the Five Forks road. This disposition was promptly effected and the enemy's advance checked. At this time a heavy line of infantry moved down the direct road from Five Forks and drove in the Sixth New York, which had been left to hold that front; part of a regiment of First Brigade was pushed in in support of the Sixth, and the enemy was checked, but only for a moment. At the same time the left of the Second Brigade was outflanked, and a heavy line emerged from the woods on its front. In a few minutes the brigade would have been surrounded. I ordered Colonel Fitzhugh to retire and connect with First Brigade. While this was being effected the rebel cavalry charged down the road through their infantry line, but the stubborn valor and well-directed fire of our men repulsed them on each occasion. Twice the brigade was obliged to halt and charge the enemy while retiring. On reaching the point where I had left the First Brigade I found it had been forced back by the rapid advance of the enemy on our left, who then occupied its position and had cut us off from the cross roads. Colonels Fitzhugh and Stagg were at once ordered to fall back across the country in the direction of the Brooks road, in accordance with orders from General Merritt, should we be unable to connect with the left. The men retired in order, showing such a front as prevented the rebel cavalry (which now hovered in force upon their right flank) from charging them. A line was now formed in front of the plank road and the led horses (which had been sent toward the left of our infantry) were brought up. I was about to push down the Brooks road and endeavor to connect with the Reserve Brigade, when General Davies (who had joined the division with a portion of his brigade) assumed command and directed me to march to Dinwiddie Court-House by the plank road. On reporting at Dinwiddie Court-House I was ordered to march to Crump's farm, where the division encamped.
At the time that the First and Second Brigades were forced to retire on the right, the Reserve Brigade (which was massed at the intersection of the Brooks road), with Miller's section of battery, became hotly engaged with the advancing enemy. The brigade was dismounted, and in a brilliant charge drove the exulting foe for nearly half a mile; but, as on the right, the heavy masses of the enemy soon pressed back the gallant handful of men. At dark the brigade was relieved by the Third Division. While engaged the section of battery rendered most valuable service in checking the enemy's advance.
On the morning of April 1 the division, nothing daunted by the repulse of the two previous days, again moved toward the stubbornly contested battle-ground of the Five Forks. Colonel Stagg, with the First Brigade, met the enemy as usual at Chamberlain's Swamp, and an infantry line was immediately developed, showing that the position was not to be taken without a hard fight. The whole of the Second Brigade was now dismounted, and Colonel Fitzhugh was ordered to cross the swamp, gain a position on the opposite side, and cover the crossing of the First Brigade mounted. The movement was gallantly effected under a heavy fire, and the First U. S. Cavalry and First, and Sixth Michigan Cavalry were crossed on the left of the brigade, while the Fifth Michigan was crossed upon the right to cover that flank. The Reserve Brigade was thrown out upon the right and rear in the direction of the White Oak road. A charge was now ordered to gain the wood in