right of the Forty-fifth New-York, at right angles to the turnpike, through the woods and across a road leading into the turnpike, supported on the right by the Fifty-fourth New-York volunteers, stood the One Hundred and Fifty-third Pennsylvania volunteers, more as a close line of skirmishers, than a regular line of battle, being ordered to stand three feet apart. In this position Saturday noon found them. Information was brought that an attack was expected on the right flank, and skirmishers were thrown forward into the woods, who, about five o'clock in the afternoon, reported that the rebels were massing and approaching. Hardly had the information been brought in, and the line called into readiness, when the tooting of numberless small bugles was heard, the whizzing of balls began, and the explosion of shells over and alongside of every body clearly demonstrated that “the rebels were in force,” a fact which the thirty-five men of cavalry allowed for the protection of the extreme right of the whole army of the Potomac had heretofore not been able to discover. The rebels advanced, closed in mass on the three sides of the right with their whole force concentrated on the one point of our long line, enfilading the brush breastworks behind which the brigade was placed, and rushing over the cleared space in front of the lines. After the first volley, the Forty-fifth New-York, accompanied by the two pieces of artillery, sought refuge in a very rapid change of base, and soon after, the Fifty-fourth New-York also retired. After both supports had withdrawn in mass, the One Hundred and Fifty-third Pennsylvania volunteers still stood and gave, as a regiment, a parting volley, which rebel prisoners report to have fearfully mowed down the ranks of the advancing First Virginia brigade. Then the order to retreat was given, and the One hundred and Fifty-third certainly withdrew for the purpose of having men left to fight again. Several vain attempts were made to rally the retiring forces of the Eleventh corps; but preceded on the retreat by the brigades and divisions farthest from the enemy, it was impossible to find the requisite cover behind a line of our own forces, before arriving within the lines of the Twelfth and Fifth corps. As soon as any, the First brigade, and with it the One Hundred and Fifty-third Pennsylvania volunteers, was rallied, and spent the greater part of the night in throwing up riflepits, and on Sunday morning were moved again into the front line of intrenchments opposite the centre of General Hooker's line of battle, where they remained until Wednesday morning, when our corps covered the withdrawal of his army to the other side. On Wednesday, in the midst of a terrible rain and natural condition of Virginia mud, we returned to our former camp near Brook Station, where we are rapidly recuperating our much tired bodies. From the time we left Brook Station until I rejoined joined the regiment, I was Acting Assistant Inspector-General spector-General on the staff of Gen. Devens, commanding the First division. In my capacity of aid, I had very frequent opportunies by day and by night of seeing every one of the regiments in this division. At all times and under all circumstances, I found both the officers and men of my regiment in the best of spirits, and no regiment in the corps went more gladly to battle, or more cheerfully submitted to privations. During the engagement itself, I had but one distant glimpse of the regiment, as I ordered up the Seventy-fifth Ohio to the support of Colonel Gilsa, my position keeping me near General Devens. Colonel Gilsa, however, himself every inch a soldier and brave man, although early wounded and bruised by the fall of his horse, was, during the greater part of the fight, immediately behind the regiment, and to myself, as well as to General Howard, in my presence, expressed the greatest satisfaction with the behavior of his “new regiment,” as in every way brave and soldierly, and his only sorrow is so soon to lose us by the expiration of our time of service. On Sunday morning, hearing that Colonel Glanz was missing, and Lieutenant-Colonel Dachradt wounded so as to be unable to take the command, I asked leave to return to the regiment and share with it all further exposures and perils, and have since then been in command of the same. During Monday morning we had a very lively brush with a line of rebel skirmishers on an opposite hill, and I had every opportunity of seeing the coolness and determination nearly unanimously evinced, and feeling proud of the spirit animating our Northampton County boys. At such times to particularize would be improper; suffice it to say that no “officer was shot by a private, and no private cut down by an officer.” Those who have fallen — and, alas! we mourn a number of such — have fallen in the noble discharge of their duties, slain by the hands of traitors those who have been wounded, have received honorable wounds by the shots of rebels; and those who are prisoners are now in the hands of “our Southern brethren,” not in consequence of their own faults, but by the fortunes of war. Hoping this exposition may set to rest all slanders, and assure every true and loyal patriot that he need not in nowise be ashamed or should sneer at “Colonel Glanz's regiment of Pennsylvania volunteers,” and desiring you, for the sake of justice to your fellow-citizens now in the front rank of the army, bravely battling for all they hold dear at home, to publish this letter in all the newspapers of Northampton County. Very respectfully,
J. F. Frueauff, Major Commanding One Hundred and Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers.
Congratulatory order of General Hooker.
headquarters of the army of the Potomac, May 6, 1863.The following order has been issued by Major-General Hooker:
General orders no. 49.headquarters of the army of the Potomac, May 6, 1863.The Major-General Commanding tenders to this army his congratulations on its achievements of the last seven days.