The very hill reeled beneath us like a drunken man. As I darted through the men fell on both sides of me. The Fifty-second New-York volunteers, a conscript regiment, chanced from our position to be in front. They wavered, and were falling back on the old regiments, when Colonel Frank, who commanded the Third brigade, rode in their front and rallied them, crying: “Stand boys! Follow me.” Behind them was the Second brigade--or Irish brigade--who coolly stood to their guns. Colonel Myles, too, rallied the lines. In a moment the panic subsided, and the men stood colly in their lines, though the shot and shell of the enemy were knocking them over pretty fast. The lines now fell back behind the crest of the hill, and Rickett's battery, having taken position, returned the enemy's killing compliments with interest, shelling the woods and ravine in which they were concealed. All this time the rebels were shouting their demoniacal yell all round, and the sharp metallic sound of musketry ran along our picket and skirmish lines. The enemy's battery soon became silent; but the firing increased along our skirmishing lines. The corps now wheeled round its head in the direction of Catlett's Station. It was evident that the enemy meant to contest every inch of ground, and to cut us off from forming a junction with the other corps. The troops had to move in fighting order, every now and then taking up lines of defence. As there was little intermission from fighting all day, I could not ascertain ours or the rebel loss. I saw one rebel colonel mortally wounded. Gregg's cavalry suffered heavily, chiefly the Tenth New-York, which is severely cut up. The Second corps nobly covered the retreat of the army, being successively engaged with the enemy at several different points throughout the day, and most desperately throughout the afternoon and evening. They stood like a wall of iron against the repeated and thundering assaults of the enemy, until our whole army, with all its transportation, was secure, and in a position to meet every attack.
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