This, however, was not the case with all the two-year regiments.
A portion of the 20th N. Y., under the leadership of a sergeant, refused to cross the river, and were court-martialed and severely punished for mutiny.
At its farthest advance, the left of the 16th N. Y. was only the width of the road across from the church, and they suffered from the fire of the men in it, and the battery near it. On the following day the 16th supported a battery with two companies on the skirmish line, and when the withdrawal was made in the evening, we of the two companies found ourselves at the extreme left of the line with orders to fall back gradually and hold the enemy in check.
The writer was the man on the very end of the skirmish line, and when we got back to the plank road we were utterly bewildered.
All our line and staff officers were gone, as was the case with the 27th N. Y. that was on our left, with the same orders and in the same perplexity.
We stood a few moments in doubt when out of the darkness came the voice of our Colonel
, “Where are my men?”
“Here we are,” was our eager response.
“Well, get out of this as quick as you can,” and he set us the example by wheeling his horse and galloping off at full speed.
The left of the line happened to be just at the junction of the plank road and the road that led to Bank's Ford, so that the order “Right face, file right, double quick” started us on the way to safety.
But it was a fagged out company of grateful men who late in the evening fell utterly exhausted among their waiting comrades, until their turn came to cross the river in the early morning.
For the part that the 121st took in this campaign, Colonel Beckwith
's account is both vivid and full.
It is very fortunate for the friends of deceased members and survivors of the regiment,