War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0296 THE PENINSULAR CAMPAIGN, VA. Chapter XXIII.

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the batteries during the afternoon, and up to 5.30 p.m. to casualties occurred in my regiment, although my left was exposed to the fire of the enemy's batteries. Between my line and the enemy's, and about half way, was a ridge of land running parallel with the works, which obstructed a view of what was immediately in their front.

As I had already received orders to bivouacked for the night in my present position, and having applied for and obtained permission to reconnoiter their works, I advanced with Company B, Captain Wardwell, deployed as skirmishers, under a heavy fire, some 500 yards, to near the crest of the ridge. I ordered the skirmishers to lie down, while I advanced, under cover of a clump of trees and boughs, along a road leading to the left of their work, to a position within 600 yards, where with my glass I thoroughly examined their whole line of works. Having completed by observations, I directed the line to return. As soon as we came in sight, they opened a most terrific fire of shot and shell, having the range completely. By careful observations we were enabled to avoid a great deal, by ordering the men to lie down just before their shells exploded and then rise up and move rapidly forward. But for such precautions our casualties would have been much greater. The officers and men behaved under these trying circumstances with great coolness, preserving their intervals and bringing off the field their wounded companions. Many shells were thrown into the woods in the midst of the remainder of the regiment, mortally wounding one man and some others slightly. The whole command behaved with commendable bravery under this their first exposure to the enemy's fire. Assistant Surgeon Prince was at his post with stretchers, and carried the men to the rear, where Surgeon Warren took them in charge and promptly sent them to the division hospital. Annexed is a list of the wounded.*

The result of my observations while to the front were immediately but informally reported to the general commanding brigade. I now reiterate in substance the facts embraced therein:

From the point of observation to the front of their works was not more than 600 yards. The road leads directly to the left of their works, and above and to the right of the road the stream is dammed, so to flow all the timber land to their left and our right, where Lieutenant-Colonel Griswold, with Companies A and F, were deployed, so as to render it impassable in that immediate vicinity. To my right, under the skirt of the woods, was an earthwork, seen earlier in the day, apparently deserted. In front of their entire line was the Warwick River, of considerable line. A considerable stockade work connects the left and middle works, while to their left and rear is a square work of considerable strength, and apparently well constructed for defense. This commands the road to the right and left, but only one gun was fired from here during the day.

It appeared as though the works were constructed with a view to great strength and powers of resistance, following to that end, in the erection of their works, the meandering of the stream.

Near the dam and in front of their main work a gun is mounted, which commands the dam, road, and entire front. From this we received the shots earlier in the day, upon our first arrival.

An earthwork could be thrown up in the edge of the woods under cover of night within 1,100 or 1,200 yards, and the same could be advanced


*Nominal list omitted reports 1 officer and 8 men wounded.