War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0393 Chapter XXIII. SIEGE OF YORKTOWN, VA.

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directed volley from our skirmishers poured in at this moment at their very short range caused them to subside promptly with evident considerable loss. They never fired a shot afterward. At the command "Charge" the colonel of the Sixth Maine brought up his reserve close to the skirmishers, sheltering them in a little ravine. Their assistance, however, was unnecessary. It is believed that the enemy were there in considerable force, for long rolls had been beaten in their works in different directions from the time we arrived there. On the last day of examination of these works several regiments took their places in the rifle the rifle pits while our men held the knoll.

On the right of the line toward the river, Colonel Vinton, in command, advanced the Forty-third New York down the ravine close to the creek and held his position there for more than an hour, and until the ravine was entirely cleared out from the underbrush, and nearly all this time under a teasing fire from the other side of the creek, generally from unseen enemies, who appeared to occupy rifle pits or were sheltered behind palisades in the woods. At the mouth of the ravine, on the opposite side of the creek, appeared a little work, explained in accompanying sketch. At 2 o'clock p.m. the work having been substantially completed along the whole front of General Davidson's and my brigades, I ordered the troops to be slowly withdrawn, the skirmishers of the Sixth Maine bringing up the rear. The enemy had been so well punished at different places that they made no attempt to follow our skirmishers home. We met with some losses, but I have no doubt far less than we would have subsequently encountered on the picket line had the work not been performed. Besides, our men had felt on picket a sense of the greatest insecurity. From the causes before mentioned it was necessary to remedy this, for from our proximity to the enemy, and owing to the comparatively short distance from the to our batteries, it is always necessary to throw the supports and reserves on the picket line and making the contest there immediately, instead of allowing our pickets to fall back upon the supports. The men behaved with spirit. The men behaved with spirit First Lieutenant W. G. Mitchell, my aide, had charge of the working party, and performed his duties well and faithfully.

I herewith submit reports of Colonel H. Burnham and Colonel F. L. Vinton, commanding the Sixth Maine and Forty-third New York Volunteers, respectively, with sketches of the prominent positions held by them, referred to herein.

I am,sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.

Captain L. D. H. CURRIE,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Smith's Division.

Numbers 49. Report of Colonel Hiram Burnham,

Sixth Maine Infantry, of reconnaissance toward Lee's Mill, April 28.

HEADQUARTERS SIXTH MAINE REGIMENT,

Camp Numbers 9, in the Field, April 28, 1862.

The following report of a reconnaissance made to-day by the Sixth Maine Regiment of a portion of the shore of the Warwick River to the left of our batteries is respectfully submitted:

The regiment moved from the camp at the hour named in the order