of the first line was to open a heavy fire upon the enemy upon reaching the farther skirt of the wood, to reform the line with all possible dispatch, which would necessarily become much disjointed in passing over such obstructed ground, and then await the order to charge.
As the line moved forward the enemy's battery opened a furious shelling of the woods, inflicting considerable damage. The Fourth Regiment was the first to reach the open field. The center companies of this regiment, injudiciously and without orders, and before any attempt at a correction of the alignment, started forward for the works with cheers. This demonstration, checked immediately by Colonel Rogers, who ordered the companies back o the cover of the woods, attracted the attention of the enemy, who instantly opened upon the regiment a destructive fire of canister from all his guns. The inexperience of the troops, the terrible fire to which they were subjected, and the nature of ground caused no little confusion among them, which was much increased by the second line in the excitement of the moment opening fire upon the first line.
Captain King was killed and Captains Mendall and Parrington and Lieutenant Brigham wounded, the latter mortally.
One hundred and twenty of the men of the regiment were killed and wounded at this point.
The Sixth Regiment in the blindness of the wood had partially overlapped and become involved with the Fourth. On reaching the edge of the wood it found itself subjected to an enfilading fire on the left. These combined circumstances rendered the left of the line of no avail for an immediate charge, but the fire directed toward the left had enabled the right of the line to form with comparative regularity, when the charge was ordered. Through the risd upon the right wing the Fifth and Twenty-second Regiments swept gallantly up the intervening declivity and into the rebel works. The enemy fled precipitately, abandoning one 12-pounder, which fell into the hands of the Twenty-second, and was immediately turned upon the retreating foe.
The charge was made at 8 a. m. The brigade rested for an hour, reformed, and then moved on toward the strong defenses at Jordan's field. Arriving near these works at 10 a. m., the Fifth Regiment was deployed as skirmishers on the left of the road, and moved forward through a dense thicket for half a mile to a position fronting Batteries Nos. 9 and 10. It was hoped that the fire of these skirmishers would seriously annoy if not entirely silence the guns in these works, which held a very commanding position reltive to the works opposite our right and against which the main attack was intended, but the distance from the edge of the woods to the redoubts against which the regiment was operating was so great--fully 600 yards--that they accomplished little, save to distract the enemy's attention.
Owing to the nature of the ground it was impossible for the skirmishers to advance nearer to the works with any safety, except under cover of night. Furthermore, any advance of the regiment beyond this point would have separated it from all support from the rest of the command, which was to be advanced in a different direction.
Meanwhile an attempt was made to open an artillery fire upon these redoubts from an open field to right and rear of this regiment. Both Captain Choate's and Captain Angel's batteries were brought up, but every part of the field was so thoroughly commanded by a direct, an oblique, and an enfilading fire from the enemy's guns that prudence