War of the Rebellion: Serial 012 Page 0713 Chapter XXIII. HANOVER COURT-HOUSE,ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

throughout the night. After a fatiguing of eigh hours, having been previously ordered to the front, we arrived at 1 p.m. at the junction of the Richmond and Hanover road, leading to the

Court-House.

To the right and front our forces were already engaged, whilst to the left the enemy appeared in force near the railroad station. At this juncture a small cavalry force charged down the Richmond and Ashland road, which crosses the railroad, and soon returned whith information that the enemy was in force.

I was then directed by General Martindale to advance my regiment to the left and get possession of the railroad. I deployed Company A, Captain Sampson, as skirmishers, the center along the road, while the remainder of the regiment, under Major Tilton, moved forward in line of battle to a house to the left of the road, where a section of Benson's artillery was in battery and had opened fire. I directed Captain Sampson to advance with his skirmishers to the right of the road and seize the railroad and telegraph and destroy the connection. This duty was promptly performed, and in a very satisfactory manner. I had previously detached Company D to support him. To the left of the road I advanced with the line of skirmishers, supported by Company F, Captain Thompson, across a slough, to a belt of woods, beyond which was a large opening in the timber,and two regiments of the enemy drawn up in line of battle, about 1,200 yards distanat. A few well-directed shots from this line of skirmishers drove back their cavalry vedetts, which were advanced and within 300 yards. Seeing that the line of attack or defense was at this point, I directed Adjutant Sherwin to order forward my regiment, and to report to General Martindale that the enemy was moving to our right, and that the artillery, which was doing no execution from its present position, should be thrown forward.

I reported to General Martindale in person the great necessity of throwing forward artillery, which I would support on the left-a line of skirmishers and one company - the Second Maine being on its right. A section of Griffin's battery was quickly thrown forward, and as soon as it opened the enemy replied, supported by a regiment of infantry on its right and immediately in my front. By a

well-directed fire of the artillery it exploded a caisson, and the enemy soon retired, the infantry moving back into the woods to our left and rear.

Lieutenant Davis, aide-de-camp to General Martindale, soon rode up and asked me what I had to report, and stated that I was to withdraw my regiment. I expressed my great surprise, and stated my conviction that they were moving on our rear, and to guard against it I had thrown back the left of my regiment and thrown out a small picket in that direction to observe them. I complied,however, reluctantly, and after collecting that portion of my command on the right of the road withdrew.

As I proceeded up the road to the right I met Captain Mason, of General Porter's staff, who informed me that General Martindale's entire brigade was ordered up the railroad to make a junction with his advanced forces. I informed him that General Porter could not understand out position, and expressed my apprehensions that the enemy would attack us in the rear, and wished he would report that facts to him. Before he could communicate with General Porter, however, our forces were too far in advance in pursuit of the enemy in front to avoid the attack or meet it with sufficient force. I counter-marched my command, and General Martindale ordered me to file into the woods, and after striking the railroad to follow it to where the road to the station crosses it. I complied with this order, and in the march cut the telegraph