of precaution, I had ordered the prolongues to be fixed to the sections of Regan's battery, still firing up the Williamsburgh road, and ordered it to retire firing, until in the abattis that crosses the road. I then withdrew the Fifty-fifth, under the protection of this fire. This regiment had fought most gallantly, suffered severely, and contributed much, in the end, towards saving Regan's battery from falling into the hands of the enemy. And then the entire field in front of, and including the redoubt, was in possession of the enemy, who had pressed to within a few yards of us, it being necessary to support many of the wounded horses, to keep them from falling in the traces. At a quarter-past five P. M., we brought the last sections of Bailey's First New-York artillery from the field, the air being at this time literally filled with iron and lead. Returning rapidly to my Fifty-sixth New-York, Eleventh Maine and Fifty-second Pennsylvania, my anticipations here were realized; being successful in turning our left flank, the enemy had opened a most destructive cross-fire upon them from the pieces near the redoubt that had not been spiked; and this, with the fire from their immediate front, was no longer to be endured, and they were withdrawn and marched down theNine-mile road, and placed in position, in rear of this road, about three hundred yards from the Seven Pines, where soon their services were required. In the mean while, Col. Neill, of the Twenty-third Pennsylvania, had come upon the ground occupied by Col. Dodge, and induced him to advance in front, and to the right of the position that had been assigned to him, whilst he, Col. Neill, occupied that which the Fifty-second Pennsylvania evacuated. But these dispositions were scarcely made before the masses of the enemy broke through, and a few minutes sufficed to leave the half of Dodge's command upon the ground, and to force Neill precipitately from his position. The remaining portion of the Fifty-second--for it was now reduced to a little over one hundred men — were conducted along theNine-mile road to the Seven Pines, where, finding the rifle-pits occupied, they took possession of a fence and some outhouses, and did most effective service. Afterward they crossed to the left of Couch's position, and advanced two hundred yards, into and along the woods, to the left and front of the Seven Pines, where they remained actively employed until near dark, when the enemy advancing rapidly in masses to the rear of theNine-mile road, inclined toward the Williamsburgh road, sweeping everything from the field, our forces making one general, simultaneous movement to the rear, which did not stop until all had arrived at the line of defence, one mile in that direction. The Fifty-second, having their retreat cut off, escaped by passing through the woods to the left and rear, to the saw-mill at the White Oak Swamp, and thence to the line above referred to, where they rejoined their comrades of the First brigade. Following down theNine-mile road, after Dodge retired from his first position, about five hundred yards from the intersection of the Seven Pines, I found Col. J. Adams commanding the First Long Island, which was placed across the road, a portion of the right flank being in rear of it, with the left flank extending to the front and left. Advising Col. Adams of the rapid approach of the enemy, of the direction he was coming, and of the position of the Fifty-sixth and One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania on his left, he withdrew the left flank of the Long Island to the rear of theNine-mile road, making a continuous line with the above, and the men were ordered to lie down, that they should escape the murderous fire that was incessantly pouring in from the front. Scarcely was this done before the Eighty-seventh New-York, Col. Stephen E. Dodge, of Kearney's division, Heintzelman's corps, came along theNine-mile road, with rapid step, cheering most vociferously, passed the Fifty-sixth New-York, One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania, and First Long Island about fifty yards, received a volley, broke, and passed the whole of them, running over the backs of those lying down, the latter remaining undisturbed until ordered to rise and meet the accumulated force that was bearing all before it. Volley after volley was given and received. An order was given to charge, but one hundred yards brought us into such close proximity with the enemy, “that a sheet of fire was blazing in our faces.” The ranks on both sides were rapidly thinning; but still the great disparity in our numbers continued. So close were the contending forces, that our men in many instances, whilst at a charge, poured their fire into the breasts of the enemy, within a few feet from the points of their bayonets. This dreadful contest lasted until nearly dark. My Fifty-sixth and One Hundred and Fourth suffered dreadfully, lost the greater part of their officers and men, and were compelled to give way, carrying their wounded with them. It was then, in the language of Lieut. Haney, of the One Hundred and Fourth, “that I (Lieut. Haney) and Lieut. Ashenfelder and others led Capt. Corcoran, Capt. Swatzlander, and Lieut. Hendric off the field. It was about half an hour before dark. We went down theNine-mile road, and along the Williamsburgh road. The fighting was nearly over. Our troops were all retiring. We saw the enemy not over seventy-five yards in our rear, and no troops between us and them. All of our forces were moving back, little regard being paid to brigade, regimental, or even company organization. Kearney's troops came, but did not stay long. Capt. Corcoran becoming continually weaker, we were compelled to carry him.” Fully confirming the statements of my officers, I assert that I saw no running, and there was no panic, but all moved off together, with a single purpose, and that one, to make a stand upon the line of defences, one mile in the rear, the only one of sufficient capacity to enable us to defend ourselves against vastly superior numbers, until our reenforcements could be brought together. Company I, Captain Morrill, and company E, Lieut. Sabine, of the Eleventh Maine, were on
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