from us over the top of the hill on our left, but while making my arrangements to do this, I observed that my two regiments engaged were being driven back out of the woods by the terrible fire of the Rebels.
I then saw the brave Colonels, Cantwell and Zeigler, struggling to rally their broken regiments in the rear of the forest, out of which they had been driven, and sent two of my aides to assist them and assure them of immediate support.
They soon rallied their men, and charged again and again up to the railroad, but were driven back each time with great loss. I then sent the Second Virginia to their support, directing it to approach the railroad at a point on the left of my other regiments where the woods ended, but they were met by such a destructive fire from a large Rebel force that they were soon thrown into confusion, and fell back in disorder.
The enemy now came on in overwhelming numbers. General Carl Schurz had been obliged to retire with his two brigades an hour before, and then the whole Rebel force was turned against my brigade, and my brave lads were dashed back before the storm of bullets like chaff before the tempest.
And so on. General Gordon
, in a note1
to his account of this part of the battle, says: ‘Thus far in the battle the feats of valor on the Federal
side we have given from official reports.’
‘It is remarkable,’ he adds, ‘that the most patient research among Confederate reports reveals no account of any heavy or prolonged struggle up to this time
with either General Schurz
Indeed, the Confederates
claim to have resisted the efforts of these Federal officers with but a small part of their force.’
, who was on our right, advanced it seems to our support—I suppose when Colonel Edwards
with the Thirteenth and Colonel Marshall
with the Rifles moved out—but he disposes of the part his brigade took in it in a few lines.
‘General Gregg's brigade meeting the enemy there (near the railroad), this brigade advanced to his right, the regiments being thrown in successively until all became engaged.
The energy were in strong position on the railroad.
We at once advanced and drove them from it.’
Thus, as I understand, General Thomas
disposes of the rest of Milroy
's brigade and of Schenck
's division of Sigel
At any rate, he is the only other officer on our side who found anything worthy to note of the performances at this time, so elaborately reported by Milroy
, you recollect, was in our rear in support of our brigade, and when he saw our brigade engaged, he, too, sent in three