and proceeded down the road leading to Lee's Mill. On arriving at a point in the road opposite the locality intended to be examined the regiment was halted, two companies deployed as skirmishers, and two more as flankers, to protect the left flank. The skirmishers then advanced and the regiment followed in line of battle.
Not more than a hundred yards had been passed over after leaving the picket line before our skirmishers began to exchange shots with the enemy's outposts. In one or two instances they had the audacity to call out to our men not to fire, that they were friends; but the ruse was unsuccessful, and they were driven back to the main body. This was quite large and protected by a breastwork of logs, and in some places earth had been thrown up as if for a rifle pit. This breastwork is erected on the crest of a swell of land about 75 yards from and overlooking the stream.
Our skirmishers approached within a short distance of the enemy, and covering themselves kept up a continual fire upon them. This fire they returned. The enemy apparently found our fire very annoying, and after the lapse of perhaps an hour passed in this manner an attempt was made to frighten off, for it is thought no more was intended. An officer was distinctly heard to order the enemy to charge. As if in obedience to this order they rose up in sight over their breastwork. Our men took advantage of the exposure and poured in a simultaneous and it is believed deadly volley. The rebels instantly fell back under cover again. The line remained in this position until ordered to retire.
Charles L. Clark, of Company F, was wounded in the thigh. This was all the casualty which occurred. A sketch of the locality accompanies this report.*
Colonel, Commanding Sixth Maine Regiment.
JOHN HANCOCK, Assistant Adjutant-General.
Numbers 50. Report of Colonel Francis L. Vinton,
Forty-third New York Infantry, of reconnaissance toward Lee's Mill, April 28.
HDQRS. FORTY-THIRD NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,
April 28, 1862.
SIR: In compliance with the order of General Hancock I have the honor of forwarding to him the following statement concerning the clearing and re-establishing of our picket line so far as it was under my direction and protection. I also add what few observations I could make of the enemy's works and the nature of the ground in front. The sketch I forward I have drawn from memory entirely, not having been prepared to take bearings or measure distances:*
The pioneers of the brigade having reported to me, I put them in charge of Lieutenant Bogart, my adjutant, who employed them according to the directions transmitted from General Hancock through Lieutenant Mitchell. I crossed the picket line with my regiment, followed by the pioneers, near the left support. The skirmishers of the Sixth Maine covered me partially from the left toward the right after entering the wood. While the pioneers were opening the wood around the
*Omitted as unimportant.