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[92] within range of the enemy's guns,— this being for many of them their first experience under fire.

Upon the following day an attack was made by Early's corps upon their right and rear. The Eighth New York, with several other regiments, were immediately under orders, and moved at double-quick to repel the charge. After the whole force of the enemy had been pressed far back into the woods, Colonel Porter sought out his officers, anxiously inquiring if their men had behaved well; and on being assured that their conduct had been admirable, he exclaimed with satisfaction, ‘Now I know that the Eighth will stand fire, and will not disgrace itself on the battle-field.’ Every officer and private in the regiment knew that his dearest wish was that the regiment, to the drill and discipline of which he had given the best efforts of his mind, and which he had always esteemed it an honor to command, should acquit itself creditably in the first engagement with the enemy; and they had resolved he should not be disappointed. Their loss on that day was between thirty and forty. Colonel Porter escaped unhurt, though his life was repeatedly attempted by a sharpshooter in a neighboring tree, who, when wounded and captured, boasted of the fact, saying he had been his prisoner at Fort McHenry. With a look of pity Colonel Porter directed him to be taken to the rear and kindly cared for.

At midnight on the 20th of May, the movement towards Richmond commenced; the brigade to which he belonged being attached, as heretofore, to Gibbon's division of Hancock's corps. The march was laborious, a part of each night being employed in intrenching. On the evening of May 23d they reached the North Anna, near Hanover Station, and on the next day crossed the stream under a sharp artillery fire. That night they lay upon their arms without shelter, exposed to a drenching rain; and during the long and dreary hours Colonel Porter beguiled the tedium of his officers by some of his most brilliant and humorous sallies. The following evening they recrossed the North Anna, and the whole night was spent in erecting more breastworks. The night was dark, and

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