manded the order, which was most fortunate, as the regiment moved forward in time to take a most important part in the action.
General Foster commenced the attack by putting six Dahlgren howitzers in position in front of the enemy's battery, supporting it with the Twenty-fifth Massachusetts, Colonel Upton. This regiment was supported by the Twenty-third Massachusetts, Colonel Kurtz, also in line. After the Tenth Connecticut, Colonel Russell, came up, General Foster ordered the Twenty-third Massachusetts and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, Colonel Lee, to pass into the swamp on the right, for the purpose of getting on the left flank of the enemy. Soon after this the Twenty-first Massachusetts exhausted its ammunition, and the Tenth Connecticut advanced to its position. All these movements were performed by the regiments under lead of their respective commanders with the most commendable efficiency. The skill with which the Dahlgren howitzers were handled by Midshipman Benjamin Porter and Acting Master J. B. Hammond is deserving the highest praise, and I take great pleasure in recommending them to the favorable notice of the Navy Department. At this time the number of wounded arriving on litters indicated by my brigade surgeon, Dr. W. H. Church, one at Hammond's house and the other at Ashby's, where the wounded were well cared for.
In the mean time, General Reno, coming up, sent word to General foster that he would try to penetrate the dense wood to the left and thus turn their right flank, which movement was approved by General Foster and was carried out by General Reno, the Twenty-first Massachusetts, Lieutenant-colonel Maggi, leading, followed by the Fifty-first New York, Colonel Ferrero; Ninth New Jersey, Lieutenant-Colonel Heckman, and Fifty-first Pennsylvania, Colonel Hartranft, each most gallantly led by their respective commanders, and resulting in a complete success. When it is remembered that in addition to the obstacles of thicket and underbrush the men were more than knee-deep in mud and water, it seems a most wonderful feat. Immediately after General Reno's brigade had cleared the road General Parke came up with his brigade, and was ordered by General Foster to support the Twenty-third Massachusetts and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Regiments, which had be direction of General foster most gallantly initiated under their colonels and movement to turn the left flank of the enemy, when he at once turned his brigade to the right, the Fourth Rhode Island in advance, gallantly led by its colonel and Captain Lewis Richmond, my assistant adjutant-general, meeting with obstacles equal to those on the left.
Just as the Ninth New York was entering the woods to follow the Fourth Rhode Island Generals Foster and Parke, discovering that the appearance of General Reno on the enemy's right had staggered him, they decided to order the Ninth new York to charge the battery in front, which was instantly done, and at once the road was filled with a sea of red caps, the air resounding with their cheers. The charge of General Reno's leading regiment, the Twenty-first Massachusetts, and Fifty-first New York was simultaneous with the charge of the Ninth New York, when the enemy broke and ran in the greatest possible confusion, while the cheers of our men indicated to every one on the island that we had carried the battery. The merit of first entering the fort is claimed by the Twenty-first Massachusetts and Fifty-first New York, a few men from each regiment entering at the same time, one regiment hoisting the regimental flag and the other the national flag on the parapet.