War of the Rebellion: Serial 009 Page 0098 OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA. Chapter XIX.

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passed me as I was landing, and having given direction to secure and hold the position, returned to the fleet, leaving me in command, General Foster having returned to bring up the rest of his brigade. I sent the Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers to occupy the road and woods in front, General Parke having previously sent out skirmishers to hold the woods on the right and left.

General Foster having returned, he, General Parke, and myself proceeded to the front of our lines and made as careful and reconnaissance as circumstances would allow. In accordance with the plan previously adopted in council and ordered by the general commanding, General Foster proceeded at daylight with his brigade, and about 8 o'clock met and engaged the enemy. I followed with my brigade in the following order: The Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first New York, Ninth New Jersey, and Fifty-first Pennsylvania. As the road was very narrow and the woods and swamp on each side almost impenetrable, we proceed but slowly, General Foster's brigade occupying the road. Finding it impossible to proceed directly to the front, I sent Lieutenant Morris, my aide, to inform General Foster that I would endeavor to penetrate the woods and swamp, and thus turn their right. General Foster having approved the plan, I proceeded at the head of the Twenty-first Massachusetts Volunteers toward the enemy's right. We were soon hotly engaged, but without stopping I kept moving my flank toward the left, but owing to the depth of water and dense under-brush we could make only slow progress. Finally, after the lapse of about two hours, we succeeded in turning their right. I then ordered a charge, which was most gallantly executed by the Twenty-first Massachusetts, Fifty-first New York, and Ninth New Jersey. The Fifty-first Pennsylvania, owing to their position in the rear, could not get up in time to participate, but they would have been in position in a very short time. Fortunately our charge was successful and the enemy fled precipitately. The honor of first entering the fort is divided between the Fifty-first New York and the Twenty-first Massachusetts, but all charged gallantly, and it was owing only to their position being nearer the fort that enabled them to reach it first. During the engagement, which lasted about four hours, General Foster's brigade most gallantly attacked them in the front, and General Parke was in the act of turning their left when my brigade charged and carried the battery.

During the engagement I proceeded to General Foster's position in front of his brigade, and meeting General Parke, the final plan of the assault was made. From the beginning of the attack until the battery was taken not a regiment or company retired or faltered, but advanced as rapidly as water waist deep and the thick and almost impenetrable under-brush would permit. Within fifteen minutes after the assault I formed my brigade and started in pursuit, the Twenty-first Massachusetts being in advance, followed by the Fifty-first New York, Ninth new Jersey, and Fifty-first Pennsylvania. Colonel Hawkins' regiment (Ninth New York) for some distance accompanied the head of my column, occupying the right. On coming to a road that led to the right I sent my aide, Lieutenant Reno, to direct the Ninth New York to follow it and endeavor to capture those of the enemy that were attempting to escape in small boats. Some 24 wounded prisoners were thus captured, and among other Captain O. Jennings Wise, who had been mortally wounded. By advancing rapidly we captured a large number of stragglers.

Upon arriving within about a mile of their advanced position I learned from the prisoners that there were some 2,500 of the enemy in advance, and as the Twenty-first Massachusetts was some distance in