Soon the skirmishers to our front took fire from the enemy line and Colonel Phelps ordered us into battle with the 30th New York and 24th New York. I led the regiment into battle and held our ground upon the mountain spur. We surrounded the enemy and thus flanked them at turner’s gap. I then had my regiment put fire down upon an enemy skirmish line that sat within a thick woodlot and cornfield, though we made quick work of them and drove them off and gave chase.
We followed so closely behind the enemy skirmishers that their main battle line held fire for fear of striking their own men. Seeing the advantage I had the regiment charge their lines and we managed to punch a hole in their line holding our position upon crest of the mountain.
This position quickly became a hornet’s nest. The regiment suffered assault after vicious assault upon our position, though the regiment successfully repulsed each attack that the enemy had thrown at us. We began to run out of ammunition and the men began throwing rocks at the enemy, and it appeared to me that the enemy was in the same condition as rocks flew back into our lines.
By nightfall we had driven back the enemy, but the men were nearly out of all ammunition and completely exhausted. Reinforcements were sent to relieve my men and we were ordered to fall back for rest. Some hours later in the early morning, we were ordered to pursue the enemy once more. We crossed over the battlefield of the previous day and we saw the carnage wrought by our regiment and others.
The regiment went into the day’s action without 130 men and suffered 9 killed and 22 wounded.
Your Obedient Servant,
Major William H. Debevoise
14th Regt. N.Y.S.M.