from us as they have been able to travel in the time that has elapsed. The Thirty-first and Thirty-second New-York were the greatest sufferers, though the two companies of the Sixteenth New-York, which were sent into the woods, scarcely escaped more easily. The enemy, in ambush, fired low — as the wounds of our soldiers testify — following the orders which you remember Gen. Magruder gave to his soldiers. In the course of this guerrilla fighting, of course there were many very singular scenes. Capt. Montgomery, Gen. Newton's Chief-of-staff, and Lieut. Baker, of Gen. Franklin's staff, ventured too far into the woods, and soon found themselves close up with the Hampton Legion. A question put by one of them revealed their character, and instantly a number of muskets were discharged at them. Lieut. Baker escaped; Captain Montgomery's horse, pierced by half a dozen bullets, fell with his rider. The Captain feigned dead, but when the rebels commenced robbing his body he was moved to come to life, and to give the secessionist the benefit of some testamentary opinions — as Mr. Choate said when he spoke in behalf of the remains of the Whig party. Just at that moment a shell from one of our batteries — which I can't undertake to say, as the officers of three companies have positively assured me that they did it — burst among the party. Then the cry was raised, “Shoot the Yankee!” “Wherefore?” queried the Captain, “I didn't fire the shell.” Then another shell — whereupon the whole party skedaddled — rebels in one direction and the Captain in another. Immortalize Pat, said Captain no-matter-who, just now. I obey the order. Last St. Patrick's day I happened to be a guest of the same captain upon the Potomac. At night I saw Pat for the first time, when he came in, considerably the worse for liquor, to apologize to his commanding officer for his condition — excuse — he couldn't think of allowing that day of all others to go by without getting drunk. And Pat expiated his offence by sitting on a spare wheel the better part of the second day. Pat turned up again yesterday. Not at his place, however, but coming out of the woods, where the musketry was severest, with a rabbit which he had managed to kill. “Where are you?” asked his Captain. “ Sure, sir, I was detailed to stay in the camp, sir.” And Pat upon being ordered to return to camp offered to compromise with the Captain by giving him the rabbit. In some cases our wounded and dead were treated with shameful barbarity. The body of a soldier of the New-York Sixteenth was carried by, shot through the heart, and throat cut from ear to ear. Several cases of bayonet wounds upon our dead, who had been killed by bullets, are reported. Per contra, a squad of men, bringing in a wounded soldier, have halted for a few minutes' rest under the tree where I am writing. The wounded man reports that he was taken prisoner by three men of the Hampton Legion, who treated him with every courtesy and kindness, and only abandoned him when forced to do so by our artillery fire. When our infantry was driven back the second time, the enemy's musketry became so severe that it was necessary to remove the hospital on the right further toward the river. One man who had just come in with a wounded comrade received a musket-ball as he entered the hospital tents. “But for the artillery, this would have been another Ball's Bluff,” said a general officer to-day. In the early stages of the engagement there were serious fears that the rebels would succeed in driving our troops into the river, protected as they were by the woods; but the steady fire of the long-range guns was quite too much for mere infantry to withstand, and so the enemy retired, and the battle-field of yesterday is now as quiet this morning as Boston Common with a militia regiment encamped upon it. We have about two hundred and fifty wounded or killed — the precise number it is impossible to get at — but you will know all about it before you get this, for the official report will go by the Government telegraph line from Fortress Monroe. Many are line-officers. As I said before, the enemy fired low. A surgeon tells me he has amputated five legs to-day, but has heard of no man's losing an arm. Only one man in the artillery was wounded — he a soldier in Hexamer's company — by a musket-ball. Porter's battery was the only one which had the honor of being shelled by the enemy — indeed it was the only one within range. But the shells hurt nobody, and the rebel battery was silenced in a very few minutes. The buildings upon the plantation are all used for hospitals. I went through one of them this morning; and although some were dying, and all were severely wounded, I heard scarcely a single groan.
Account a participant.The following is a private letter from an officer in our army to his father:
battle of West-Point, fought yesterday by us, and also of my wonderful and miraculous escapes throughout the day. General Franklin's division left Yorktown on Monday, and landed same night upon the south side of Pamunkey River, opposite West-Point, in presence of the pickets of the enemy. Sharp firing commenced immediately after our landing, and our brigade was therefore kept under arms and in line of battle all night. On the following morning (yesterday) it became evident that the retreating columns from Yorktown would attack our division here, with the hope of beating us off before the arrival of our reinforcements. At seven o'clock I was sent out by Generals Franklin and Newton to make a reconnoissance of the ground around us in an engineering view, so that we might establish the point of their attack.