About dusk I was joined by Lieutenant-Colonel Grant and the four companies under his command which had been relieved from picket.
My men, though not greatly exposed, with the exception of 130, who were acting as sharpshooters, behaved with coolness, daring, and in an entirely subordinate manner.
I regret I have to report a few casualties, viz 2 men killed, 7 wounded (of which 2 are dangerously wounded) and none missing.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. A. SMALLEY,
Colonel Fifth Vermont Volunteers
Captain THEODORE READ,
Asst. Adjt. General, Second Brigade, Smith's Division.
Numbers 39. Report of Colonel Nathan Lord, jr.,
Sixth Vermont Infantry, of engagement at Lee's Mill, or Burnt Chimneys.
HDQRS. SIXTH REGIMENT VERMONT VOLUNTEERS.
Camp Winfield Scott, Va. April 17, 1862
SIR: I herewith beg leave to report in regard to the engagement of yesterday:
At 5 o'clock p.m., in compliance with orders received, the order was given by me to advance for the purpose of carrying the enemy's fortifications by storm. The companies, led off by Companies A and F, advanced fearlessly and in perfect order. The creek, which at the point selected to cross is about 20 rods in width, varying in dept from 2 to 4 feet, was crossed by Companies A and F without firing a shot. In the mean time the succeeding companies of the regiment successively entered the water, gradually forming in line of battle, with a view of taking the rifle pits of the enemy at the point of the bayonet. Before this could be accomplished, and at a distance not to exceed 30 yards from the rifle pits of the enemy, a most rapid, galling, and destructive fire was opened, telling with fearful effect upon the men who were advancing to make the assault.
At this time, seeing that the concerted attack previously arranged to be made by a portion of the Fourth Vermont Regiment and the Sixth Vermont Regiment under cover of the artillery, must inevitably fail on account of an unexpected fire from the fortifications of the enemy and directed toward the Fourth Vermont Regiment, and seeing, also, that the men of my own command were falling, under the cross-fire from the enemy's rifle pits at such a rate as would have left only a remnant to charge upon a greatly-superior force and at the greatest disadvantages in relative position, I gave the order to withdraw. The order was reluctantly obeyed, the men displaying throughout a determination to succeed in their undertaking, without regard to loss or disadvantages. The wounded were all recovered, many of them, however, receiving fatal wounds while they were being taken from the water by their comrades.
I report with deep regret the loss of Captain Edwin F. Reynolds, of Company F, than whom there was no braver or better man.
When all do nobly it were unjust to particularize, but I cannot forbear to mention the heroic conduct of Second-Lieutenant Bailey, of Company D, and Second-Lieutenant Kinney, of Company I, both of