O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/1
JANUARY 1-APRIL 3, 1865.--The Richmond (Virginia) Campaign.
No. 69.--Report of Capt. John W. Shafer, Twentieth Indiana Infantry, of operations March 25.
HEADQUARTERS TWENTIETH INDIANA
March 26, 1865.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with circular from headquarters First Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, just received, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Twentieth Indiana Volunteers in the engagement on the 25th instant:
At about 9 a.m. the regiment was advanced to the picket-line of this brigade, and there formed, with the Seventy-third New York Volunteers on its left flank, both regiments being under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews. Orders were at once given to advance and occupy the picket-line of the enemy. We met with a sharp infantry fire from the enemy's picket-line, strongly posted behind earthworks, but gained the position with but slight loss, capturing a number of prisoners. Finding no connection on the right, and discovering the enemy moving from their works with the probable intention of getting on the flank of the regiment, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrews ordered the right wing of the regiment deployed to form connection with troops of the First Division. This movement was executed under a sharp fire of infantry and artillery. The picket-line on the left was still occupied by the enemy, but an incessant fire from this regiment and the Seventy-third New York Volunteers kept them under the cover of their works until about 2 p.m., when the Third Brigade of this division captured the rebel line about 500 yards to the left, which being accomplished, this regiment, accompanied by the Seventy-third New York Volunteers, had no difficulty in occupying their works, taking a large number of prisoners. About 3 p.m. the Third Brigade, on our left, was driven back in apparent confusion, necessitating the withdrawal of the Seventy-third New York Volunteers and a part of this regiment to the corner of the woods, a few yards to the rear. The Third Brigade rallied and recaptured the line they had lost a few moments before, and this regiment at once occupied its old position, which it held until relieved after night. About 6 p.m. the right wing of the regiment was attacked with considerable impetuosity by part of the force which struck the First Division. They, being opportunely re-enforced at this time by the picket forces of this brigade, held their ground manfully, and rendered material aid in repulsing the attack of the enemy.
The loss during the day was 4 commissioned officers wounded, 2 enlisted men killed, and 17 enlisted men wounded. The regiment captured 1 officer and 46 men during the day. <ar95_230>
In closing this brief report of the operations of this regiment I cannot speak too highly of the good conduct of both officers and men. When all did so well I refrain from making discriminations. Especial mention is made, however, of the conspicuous gallantry of Sergt. Maj. Hiram B. Johnston and First Sergt. William A. Chapman, Company F, both of whom lost their lives.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOHN W. SHAFER,
Captain, Twentieth Indiana Volunteers, Comdg. Regiment.
Capt. J. M. LINNARD,
Asst. Adjt. Gen., First Brig., Third Div., Second Army Corps.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/1
MARCH 29-APRIL 9, 1865.--The Appomattox (Virginia) Campaign.
No. 67.--Report of Brig. Gen. Regis de Trobriand, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
April 17, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this division in the active operations from March 29 to April 10, the first part being simply a résumé of the reports of the brigade commanders (herein inclosed) from the 29th of March to the morning of the 6th of April, as Bvt. Maj. Gen. G. Mott was in command of the division during that period:
March 29, in compliance with orders the division broke camp early in the morning, and after crossing Hatcher's Run formed in line of battle on the north side of the Vaughan road and on the left of the Second Division--the Second Brigade (General Pierce) having the right, the Third Brigade (General McAllister) the left, and the First Brigade (General De Trobriand) being held in reserve behind the two others. Three regiments were soon sent forward to reconnoiter. The Twentieth Indiana (Captain Shaler), on the left, did not find the enemy. The Ninety-third New York (Colonel Gifford) and Seventeenth Maine (Lieutenant-Colonel Hobson), advancing to the front, found a small force of the enemy's pickets, protected by a line of breast-works. They were promptly dislodged, and the line of battle was advanced so as to occupy the intrenchments with the addition of two regiments of the First Brigade.
March 30, early in the morning the line of battle was advanced across the Dabney's Mill road and a branch of Hatcher's Run, throwing up a line of breast-works from J. Crow's house toward the Boydton road. The weather was very unfavorable, and the First Brigade furnished strong details during the day to repair the Dabney's Mill road find lay corduroy roads and bridges for the passage of the artillery to the front.
March 31, before daybreak the division moved by the left to the Boydton road, relieving the First Division, the Second and Third Brigades occupying the breast-works, and the First being massed to support General Miles near Rainey's house. About 12 m., General Miles having attacked the enemy and driven it, the First Brigade followed the movement, and soon afterward took position in line to fill a gap opened by the advance, between General Miles' right and General McAllister's left. In the meantime it was deemed expedient to make a diversion in favor of the First Division, and the Second and Third Brigades were ordered to assault the enemy's works on their respective fronts. The attacking force of the Third Brigade was composed of the Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers (Lieut. Col. C. C. Rivers), the One hundred and twentieth New York (Lieut. Col. A. L. Lockwood), and the left wing of the Eighth New Jersey (Major Hartford), supported by the Eleventh New Jersey (Lieutenant-Colonel Schoonover). The enemy's rifle-pits, although protected by a heavy slashing, were carried, with the capture of some fifteen rebels, but our men were unable to proceed any farther under a cross-fire of artillery sweeping their entire front, besides a brisk firing of musketry, and when ordered to fall back the retreat was found as perilous as the <ar95_777> advance had been. The assault by the Second Brigade met with the same obstacles--heavy slashing, sweeping cross-fire of artillery, and brisk firing of musketry. The attack was made by the Fifth Michigan (Colonel Pulford) and the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, the men being unable to reach the works of the enemy. The whole division bivouacked in line of battle, protected by breast-works, and forming a complete connection with the Second Division on the right and the First Division on the left.
April 1, about 4 a.m. the division was ordered to resume its position of the previous morning--the Second and Third Brigades along the breast-works on the right of the Boydton road, the First Brigade in reserve about sixty yards to the rear. After sunset, however, the First Brigade took again position in line on the left of the Boydton road, the division spreading in single file to the left until it connected with General Madill's brigade, of the First Division. At 10.30 p.m., the line being well established and the pickets thrown forward, an attack was ordered in front of the First Brigade, to find if the enemy was there in force, and should its line be weakened to pierce it. The point of attack being selected three regiments were designated to carry it--the Seventy-third New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Burns), the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Weygant), and the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania (Capt. F. B. Stewart), the whole under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Burns, the ranking officer. The pickets of the enemy were carried successfully, but the moon going down left our men in a complete darkness, under woods obstructed by slashing and unable to find their way any farther. The fire of the enemy having already sufficiently demonstrated that they were there in force the party was withdrawn and returned to the breast-works. The brigade report speaks in high terms of the credit due to Lieutenant-Colonel Burns, Lieutenant-Colonel Weygant, and Captain Stewart for the handsome manner in which the whole operation was conducted. Skirmishing went on, at times fiercely, on different points of the line during the rest of the night.
April 2, at 3 a.m., in compliance with orders from corps headquarters, the Second and Third Brigades resumed their positions on the right and left of the Boydton road, the First Brigade extending farther to the left, from the swamp in front of Rainey's house to the Butler house, with a re-enforcement of 450 men from the First Division, and the support of Third Brigade, Second Division (General Smyth). The movement was completed not without some difficulty, arising from a lively attack of the enemy while the troops were in motion, but before 5 o'clock the three brigades were in position. Between 8 and 9 a.m., some suspicious move-meat being perceptible in front of the Third Brigade, General McAllister was ordered to feel the enemy's line with one regiment. The Eighth New Jersey Volunteers (Major Hartford) advanced accordingly, and charging under a heavy fire of artillery and musketry, carried the whole line of pits, with 165 prisoners and about 200 muskets. Soon after the guns disappeared from the embrasure the enemy was seen running toward their right, and the Eighth New Jersey Volunteers, advancing on the main works, planted their flag on the redoubts before 10 o'clock, capturing another lot of prisoners. A general advance followed, the division marching along the Boydton road until, having reached the immediate vicinity of Petersburg, the First and Second Brigades were formed in line of battle with the Sixth and the Twenty-fourth Corps, the Third Brigade being kept in reserve, in which disposition the troops bivouacked for the night. <ar95_778>
April 3, the enemy having evacuated Petersburg during the night, the division crossed the South Side Railroad, and marched along the River road, the First Brigade leading, and our skirmishers and flankers capturing a great number of rebels scattered through the woods. Bivouacked beyond Mannborough.
April 4, the march of that day was a short one, the men being mostly employed in repairing the road for the passage of the artillery and the supply trains.
April 5, the march was resumed in earnest, and the roads being in a better condition the division reached Jetersville about sunset, where it was massed on the extreme left of the position occupied and entrenched by the Fifth Corps.
April 6, the division moved at 7 a.m., in the direction of Amelia Court-House, and about 9 o'clock we had reached Salt Sulphur Springs. There Brevet Major-General Mott communicated to me his instructions. I crossed the run accordingly, deployed the Twentieth Indiana (Captain Shafer) as skirmishers, with the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York held as reserve; and bringing up the balance of the brigade I now engaged the enemy's rear force. General Mott wishing to judge by himself of my dispositions, joined me soon after behind the skirmisher's line, where he was shot through the leg, and having turned over to me the command of the division was carried away from the field. At the time when I assumed command of the division the First Brigade (now under command of Col. R. B. Shepherd) was forming in line of battle, its right on the road, with two regiments from the Second Brigade on the left extending to the creek, so as to be secured on that side against any possible flanking movement of the enemy. It was intended that we should connect on the right with General Miles; but the First Division, coming by another road, was still far behind, although its advanced skirmishers connected with my line of battle. Knowing that part of the enemy's trains was within our reach if we advanced promptly, I did not deem it necessary to wait for the First Division. I formed a strong regiment, the Fortieth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Cannon), on the right of the road, and the enemy falling back before our advance I pushed forward my line of battle close behind my skirmishers. The elan of the men was remarkable from the start and augured well for the success of the day. It hardly left time to the enemy to attempt a stand behind hasty breast-works erected around a farmhouse before the whole was carried. Major-General Humphreys, commanding the corps, sent me then full confirmation of the instructions already transmitted to me by General Mott, urging the importance of pressing the enemy without loss of time, and on we went. The first stand that the enemy made with some result was by putting in position some pieces of artillery, supported by a cavalry force, which checked on the right the skirmishers of the First Division in open fields, while a very accurate shelling threatened to disturb our advance in the woods. But having found a favorable position for our artillery I directed a section of the Eleventh [Battery] New York Artillery to open from there on the enemy's cavalry, and a few shots well directed soon put an end to the resistance at that point. In the meantime Major-General Humphreys had come to our front and recommended especially the capture of the enemy's guns whenever an opportunity would present itself. This <ar95_779> was accomplished afterward, but not before we had felt again the accuracy of their fire. Emerging from the woods the skirmishers carried a line of light works, weakly defended, the enemy retreating rapidly to another line much stronger, on the crest of a hill, offering every advantage for defense. It required more than a line of skirmishers to dislodge them, and the line of battle having at all points reached the breastworks just captured I ordered it to charge. At the command forward the whole line sprang over the works and rushed through the open ground, under a heavy fire of musketry and artillery, each regiment anxious to be the first to reach the enemy's intrenchments and to plant there its flying colors. The One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania, the Seventy-third and Eighty-sixth New York, the First Maine Heavy Artillery (from the First Brigade), the Seventeenth Maine and One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania (from the Second Brigade), emulated each other in the ardor of this attack. The position was carried, with the capture of about 400 prisoners and several battle-flags, and without halting we occupied Deatonsville. By that time, the First Division having come up, I had withdrawn the Fortieth New York from the right to the left of the road. The other regiments of the First Brigade had been relieved successively when their ammunition was exhausted on the skirmish line and sent to the rear to replenish their cartridge-boxes, the ammunition following, but with difficulty, the rapidity of our advance; so my line of battle was then nearly exclusively formed of the Second Brigade, with the support of the Third Brigade on the left, which had been but slightly engaged. The presence of the Sixth Corps on our left precluded any danger on that side, but the advance was somewhat interfered with at that point by some force of cavalry and a brigade of the Sixth Corps being in our way. The fourth line of breast-works was encountered on a hill beyond, and carried without hesitation, the Fortieth New York capturing there the first piece of artillery from the enemy, soon followed by four others. The First Brigade, which had fought in advance since the morning, was then reformed in the rear, having during the campaign, and according to the report of its commander, captured 1,390 enlisted men, 17 commissioned officers, and during the day 5 pieces of artillery, 28 wagons, 1 limber, 1 artillery guidon, and 3 battle-flags. Enough for the brigade, but not enough, still, for the division. The Second Brigade, having now the lead, charged and carried the fifth line of breast-works encountered during the day, with more prisoners and more wagons captured. About sunset, having advanced through a dense wood, General Pierce found the enemy intrenched on a hill, and was met with a determined resistance. The cause of it soon became evident. The road turned abruptly to the left and ran there parallel to the breast-works which covered it and close in their rear. The rear part of the enemy's train was close by, and their only chance of escape was in the holding of the breast-works. But this last effort was of no avail against the elan of our men, who would not be checked. The works were carried, driving a battery from its position, when General Pierce, seeing his left uncovered, refused it, so as to facilitate his connection with the Third Brigade, advancing at the same time his right, so as to change front facing toward the wagons then in sight. By this time the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers (Lieutenant-Colonel Lockwood) had connected with the left of the Second Brigade, which charged at once on the wagons huddled in the ravine on the bank of the creek and captured them, the Seventeenth Maine and Fifty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers passing <ar95_780> through, crossing the stream, and taking position on the hill beyond. This ended the operations of the day, during which the Second Brigade, according to the report of its commander, had captured 963 prisoners, 5 battle-flags, 1 signal flag, 1 piece of artillery, and about 200 wagons and ambulances.
I would mention here that during the attack of the enemy on the Sixth Corps, the rapidity of our advance having opened a wide gap between my left and that corps, I ordered General McAllister to extend as far as possible his line in that direction. But having gone myself to see the condition of things, and being satisfied that the repulse of the enemy had made it impossible for him to endanger my flank, I had subsequently directed the action of the Third Brigade principally to the support of the Second, and before dark my command was all brought well together.
April 7, followed the pursuit and overtook the enemy in the afternoon. The Second and Third Brigades were formed in line on the left of the First Division, the First being kept in reserve and protecting the artillery with three regiments. After skirmishing for some hours with the enemy the division covered its front with breast-works and bivouacked for the night.
April 8, followed the enemy on the road to Lynchburg, the division moving in column through the fields about 1,000 yards on the left of the road until ordered to follow the First Division. Issued rations to the command in the evening, and joined during the night the two other divisions, four miles farther.
April 10 , short march. Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia by General Lee.
During that short but brilliant, decisive campaign, the Third Division, Second Army Corps, has captured over 3,000 prisoners, 9 battle-flags, 1 artillery guidon, 6 pieces of artillery, over 200 wagons and ambulances, carried several portions of the enemy's picket-line in the vicinity of Boydton road, and on the 6th instant stormed six intrenched positions. Such results speak for themselves, and are the best evidence of the excellent behavior and admirable gallantry of the officers and men of this command. I would also claim for them the credit due to the remarkably good spirit with which they endured the fatigue of hard marching and occasionally the privation of food. It seemed like if swallowing the army of General Lee could satisfy their appetites without regard to the regularity of the issue of rations. The list of recommendations for promotion designates officially the officers who particularly distinguished themselves. But I could not conclude without especial thanks to my brigade commanders--Brig. Gen. B. R. Pierce, Bvt. Brig. Gen. R. Mcallister, and Col. R. B. Shepherd--for the gallantry and efficiency with which they cooperated to the common work and contributed to the common success. All the officers of my staff have been so uniformly active, intelligent, and brave in the performance of their respective duties, that I could not mention any of them without some injustice to the others. As to the recommendations for promotion among them, having been but a short time in command of the division, I consider it more proper to take no action until I have consulted Brevet Major-General Mott on the subject.
R. DE TROBRIAND,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieut. Col. CHARLES A. WHITTIER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Army Corps.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/1
MARCH 29-APRIL 9, 1865.--The Appomattox (Virginia) Campaign.
No. 68.--Report of Brig. Gen. Regis de Trobriand, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
April 14, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, under my command, in the active operations from March 28 last to the evening of the 6th instant, when I assumed command of the division, this report being completed by the report of Colonel Shepherd, who succeeded me in the command of the brigade:
March 29, started at 7 a.m. by the Vaughan road, crossed the Hatcher's Run, and, by order of General Mott, taking a position in reserve along the road near the field where Major-General Meade had his headquarters, sent the Twentieth Indiana on reconnaissance on the left. The regiment did not find the enemy, and the line of battle being moved forward I followed the movement and bivouacked near a line of works abandoned by the enemy, after having filled with two of my regiments, the First Maine Heavy Artillery and the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania, a gap open in the line of battle between the Second and Third Brigades.
March 30, furnished strong details for repairing the Dabney's Mill road, and laying corduroy work for the passage of the artillery to the front line at J. Crow's house, my position being on the run, with the road in my rear.
March 31, moved before daybreak to the Boydton road, where I was ordered to mass my brigade in support of the First Division. During the morning I was ordered with my command to the support of the Second Division, near J. Crow's house, but soon after was recalled to the Boydton road, where General Miles was engaging the enemy. I followed his advance, occupying first the line of intrenchments vacated by two of his brigades and extending from the swamp in front of the corps headquarters on the left to the Boydton road on the right, where I connected with the Third Brigade. Soon, however, the advance of the First Division having opened a gap between its right and the left of the Third Brigade, Third Division, I moved my command forward to fill it, leaving two regiments to cover the artillery in the breast-works. Our connection in line of battle with General Miles' right and General McAllister's left was completed under a brisk shelling of the enemy and a light skirmishing with its sharpshooters, losing a dozen men in the movement. At sunset we covered our position with breast-works and bivouacked on the spot.
April 1, before daybreak I was ordered to withdraw my command, our pickets falling back to occupy the works, while the brigade was again massed in the woods behind the line occupied by the Second and Third Brigades, on the right of the Boydton road. After sunset, however, in compliance with orders, I took back my command to the position of the previous evening, extending the line in single file to the left, so as to connect with General Madill, of the First Division. I had completed my connection when, about 10.30 p.m., I received orders from corps and division headquarters to attack the enemy's line and try if I could pierce at some point. Having, therefore, selected the most favorable ground for the attack, I sent forward three regiments--the Seventy-third New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Burns, the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Weygant), and the <ar95_782> One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania (Capt. F. B. Stewart), the whole under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Burns, the ranking officer. These three regiments were formed in line of battle, and advanced across an open field steadily and in good order, without answering at first the fire of the rebel pickets (which were in the edge of the woods in front), until at very short distance, when all the line charged and carried the pits, capturing some prisoners. While the line of battle was reforming under an oblique fire of the enemy, briskly answered by a flanking company, the moon went down and the men found themselves in a dense wood obstructed by slashing and unable to see their way in the complete darkness of the night. At that time I received instructions from General Mott to limit my attack to a reconnaissance and to withdraw when it would be accomplished. The firing directed on my men, and which had been going on all this time, having satisfied me that the enemy was in force, I sent an order to Lieutenant-Colonel Burns to fall back to the intrenchments. This was accomplished in excellent order, the line of battle emerging from the woods and retreating slowly across the field, never breaking in any part until it resumed its position behind the breast-works. Great credit is due to Lieutenant-Colonel Burns. Lieutenant-Colonel Weygant, and Capt. F. B. Stewart, for the handsome manner in which all the operation was conducted. This was the first of a series of similar attacks which succeeded each other during the night, keeping the enemy on the alert and in force on our front. Our loss in that attack was eighteen men; Captain Cormick, One hundred and twenty-fourth New York, was unfortunately killed while gallantly leading his men forward.
April 2, at 2 a.m. I received orders to withdraw my command and to occupy a new position on the Boydton road, in the breast-works, extending from the swamp in front of Rainey's house to Butler's house, across the road, supporting four batteries of artillery. While the brigade was moving the enemy made a brisk attack in front of our left. Three of my regiments which were still in the woods formed in line of battle, and three others which were crossing the field in the rear of the intrenchments, seeing them unoccupied and the artillery without immediate protection, formed themselves behind the breast-works until the attack had subsided. This occasioned some delay in movement ordered, but by daybreak all the brigade had assumed its new position. Still my left did not extend as far as Butler's house, and I had to send two full companies of the First Maine Heavy Artillery to support the battery stationed there, until a detachment of 450 men from the First Division, returning from fatigue detail, were ordered to report to me, soon followed by the Third Brigade, Second Division (General Smyth), which was massed in my rear, and made our left perfectly safe. About 11 a.m. the attack of the Ninth and Sixth Corps having been successful in front of Petersburg, and the enemy having left in haste the works in front of us, we marched forward, penetrating his line at Burgess' Mills and following the Boydton road until in the immediate vicinity of Petersburg, when I was directed to form in line of battle, connecting on my left with the Sixth Corps at ------ house, and with the Twenty-fourth Corps on my right. Some shelling and light skirmishing took place there, wounding some few men, and we bivouacked in that position.
April 3, followed the enemy by the River road, my brigade leading, with the Seventy-third New York Volunteers as advanced guard. Our skirmishers and flankers captured during the day over 300 prisoners scattered in the woods. Bivouacked beyond Mannborough. <ar95_783>
April 4, short march, the men being mostly employed in repairing the road for the passage of the artillery and trains.
April 5, resumed the march in earnest and reached Jetersville toward the evening, where the brigade was massed for the night on the extreme left of the position occupied and intrenched by the Fifth Corps.
April 6, we moved forward at 7 a.m., and my brigade having the advance, I was just engaging the rear of the enemy's forces, near Salt Sulphur Springs, when Brevet Major-General Mott, having come to the front to give me some verbal instructions, was struck by a bullet in the leg, and carried away from the field, turning over to me the command of the division.
R. DE TROBRAND,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers.
Maj. WILLIAM R. DRIVER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Div, Second Army Corps.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/1
MARCH 29-APRIL 9, 1865.--The Appomattox (Virginia) Campaign.
No. 69.--Report of Col. Russell B. Shepherd, First Maine Heavy Artillery, commanding First Brigade.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIG., THIRD DIV., SECOND ARMY
April 17, 1865.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, in the pursuit of the enemy from the morning of the 6th to the 9th instant: About 9 a.m. the 6th instant I took command of the brigade by order of General R. de Trobriand, who had been called to the command of the division. The following disposition of the brigade had previously been made: The One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania and five companies of the Twentieth Indiana were deployed as skirmishers, the remaining five companies in reserve; the Seventy-third and Eighty-sixth New York were thrown out on the left to protect the flank, as there was no immediate connection; the remaining four regiments--the Fortieth and One hundred and twenty-fourth New York, Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania, and First Maine--formed the line of battle, the Fortieth on the right of the road leading westward from Amelia Springs, the One hundred and twenty-fourth in the road, the First Maine and Ninety-ninth Pennsylvania on the left of the road. The skirmish line, connecting on the right with that of the First Division, Second Army Corps, drove the enemy rapidly for two miles or more, capturing prisoners, wagons, &c. The skirmishers having exhausted their ammunition were relieved by the five reserve companies of the Twentieth Indiana and the One hundred and twenty fourth New York. The skirmish line continued to advance for a mile or more till it met the enemy's line of battle posted behind temporary works. Our line of battle immediately charged with the skirmishers, driving the enemy from their works, capturing wagons and prisoners. The skimish line having again exhausted its ammunition was relieved by the First Maine and sent to the rear to replenish. At this time, about 12 m., the Fortieth New York was transferred to the left of the road, and I was ordered to keel, a connection on the right with the First Division, Second Army Corps. This division, through some misunderstanding, moved very slowly, until I reported to General Miles that the skirmishers were nearly a mile in advance. He <ar95_784> immediately moved his line forward and no further delay was occasioned. Again the enemy had thrown up temporary works and checked the advance of the skirmishers. The line of battle again charged, driving the enemy from their works, capturing several wagons, 2 flags, 1 piece of artillery, one artillery guidon, and quite a number of prisoners, and during the remainder of the day whenever the enemy checked the skirmishers the line of battle charged, always driving the enemy and capturing prisoners. Meanwhile, the Seventy-third and Eighty-sixth New York were actively engaged on the left, driving the enemy, capturing prisoners, &c. At length their ammunition having become exhausted they were ordered to the rear to replenish, their position being held by a portion of the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps. The whole line continued to advance rapidly until about 4 p.m., when a portion of the Sixth Corps charged from the left across the front of the brigade, and by making a left turn came between us and the enemy. I then halted for the purpose of assembling the brigade, which, owing to the large portion (six regiments) that had been deployed as skirmishers, the rapid advance of several miles, and the frequent charges upon the enemy, had become very much scattered. After assembling the brigade I moved in rear of the Third Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, and bivouacked for the night.
To sum up in a few words what was accomplished by the First Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps:
April 6, the enemy was attacked directly in rear on the road by which he was retreating and driven several miles. The brigade captured 1,390 enlisted men, 17 commissioned officers, 5 pieces of artillery, 28 wagons, 1 limber, 1 artillery guidon, and 3 battle flags. The conduct of both officers and men throughout the day was excellent; even the recruits, inspired by the gallantry of the veterans, charged with enthusiasm. I cannot make special mention of any without injustice to others, for all behaved with great gallantry.
April 7, the brigade moved by the flank till about 2 p.m., when a line was formed to support the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps. During the afternoon we maneuvered, in connection with the Second Brigade, but was not engaged. The skirmishers thrown out to protect the left flank were engaged for a few moments with the enemy, but suffered no loss.
This brigade took part in no engagement after this date.
R. B. SHEPHERD,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Capt. T. E. PARSONS,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Div.. Second Army Corps.
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