not of much account; and even their commander did not consider the matter serious until a vedette reported the enemy advancing in force, about the same moment that two sells came hissing over their heads; when, dropping the axes and spades where — with they were felling trees for abatis and digging rifle-pits, our soldiers at the front hurriedly stood to their arms as our pickets came running in.
promptly sent forward Spratt
's battery of 4 3-inch rifled guns to a position in front of his rifle-pits, and ordered up Gen. Naglee
's infantry brigade, consisting of the 56th and 100th New York, 11th Maine, and 104th Pennsylvania, to its support; while he disposed his 7 remaining regiments and 3 batteries on either side of a small redoubt, which he had hastily constructed, expecting to hold his ground until the arrival of reenforcements; and ordered his artillery to open on the advancing enemy.
But the odds were too great.
The three brigades of Rhodes
, and Anderson
, were immediately in his front; while that of Rains
, by a flank movement, was coming in on his left.
The 104th Pennsylvania, which he had sent forward to the support of his pickets, came rushing back in confusion, and went to the rear in disorder, having lost heavily by the Rebel
fire; and, though musketry and artillery were doing fearful execution on either side, it was plain that we must soon be overwhelmed.
Seeing that the enemy were closing in on him on both wings, Gen. Casey
ordered Gen. Naglee
, with what remained of his brigade, to charge bayonets and drive them back; which was done, but under a musketry fire that mowed down our men by hundreds.
Here fell Col. James M. Brown
, of the 100th New York, and Col. Davis
, of the 104th Pennsylvania, whose Major
also was mortally wounded; and, our flanks being again enveloped, Rains
having gained the rear of our redoubt, and firing thence on the flank of our infantry, Casey
's division was driven back in disorderly retreat upon Couch
, with the loss of 6 guns.
Col. G. D. Bailey
, Major Van Valkenburg
, and Adjt. Ramsey
, of the 1st New York artillery, were killed, while endeavoring to save the guns in the redoubt; which were the next moment seized by Rhodes
, and turned upon our flying columns.
To the credit of this shattered division be it recorded, that, under a fearful enfilading fire from Rains
, in addition to that thundered on their rear from Rhodes
, they brought off three-fourths of our guns.
The storm of battle now fell upon the 93d Pennsylvania, Col. McCarter
, 55th New York, Lt.-Col. Thourot
, 23d Pennsylvania, Col. Neill
, and 61st, Col. Rippey
, of Couch
's division, who were sent forward by Keyes
to the relief of Casey
, on the right, where they fought gallantly and lost heavily.
The 7th Massachusetts, Col. Russell
, and 62d New York, Col. J. L. Riker
, were afterward sent to reenforce them; but were pressed back upon Fair Oaks
by the enemy's overpowering advance, and there, uniting with tho 1st U. S. Chasseurs, Col. John Cochrane
, and 31st Pennsylvania, Col. Williams
, held their ground until the advance of Gen. Sumner
's corps, which had with great difficulty made