Ingraham's brigade, near the sugar-house. Strong pickets will hold the ground we now have during the night. The retrograde movement will not be made in any event until after dark, and then silently. The commanding general desires to express to the troops his satisfaction with he events of the day, and his unqualified admiration of the manner in which the several commanders and officers and men of all arms have done their duty. He gives them the assurance that the morning will witness our complete triumph.
By command of General Banks:
R. B. IRWIN,
Soon afterward a rapid firing of musketry occurred in the wood on Weitzel's left, accompanied by repeated cheers. The One hundred and seventy-third New York took a position to meet a possible flank attack, but it was soon ascertained that the success was with General Weitzel, and the reigment resumed its position.
General Emory sent up a fresh regiment, the Fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Colby, to picket my front during the night. The picket line was established in the ditch, which fixed my first line of battle, and the reserve on the second line. Soon after dark the arrangements required by the order of General Banks were completed. The Eighth New Hampshire and One hundred and thirty-third New York occupied the first line. We lay on our arms without fires.
At 1 o'clock in the morning I was awakened by the rumbling of artillery. A messenger, on his way from Colonel Colby to General Emory, soon called with information that this had been heard by the pickets. He returned with me to the picket lien, but a careful inquiry failed to satisfy me whether an entire evacuation was in progress. The messenger proceeded to General Emory's headquarters, and before daylight he ordered me to ascertain whether the enemy had evacuated, and get into the works if I could. I send forward Captain Allaire with his company (E, One hundred and thirty-third New York), to skirmish into the entrenchments, if possible, and report his discoveries at short intervals.
While I was forming my brigade an order came from General Banks to enter the entrenchments, if practicable. The left wing of the Eighth New Hampshire being deployed as skirmishers over my entire front, we marched into the entrenchments. Captain Allaire's company entered first. Then came the Eighth New Hampshire, and as I planted their flag on the breastworks they bounded in with three loud cheers, the gallant One hundred and thirty-third on their left. The other regiments followed.
The behavior of all the officers and men of my regiments was most admirable. For the Fourth Wisconsin and Eighth New Hampshire to be brave was only to be true to their hard-earned fame. The One hundred and thirty-third and One hundred and seventy-third New York Regiments, for the first time under fire, exhibited the courage and steadiness of veterans. Colonel Currie, One hundred and thirty-third New York, Major Gallway, One hundred and seventy-third New York, Lieutenant Woosster, brigade quartermaster, Lieutenant Pierce, aide-de-camp, and Private Fitzpatrick, Company H, Fourth Wisconsin Regiment, by their gallantry in the field; Lieutenant-Colonel Bean, as commander of the force at the sugar-house during the night, and Lieutenant Herron, as commander of the skirmishers, deserve special mention.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
HALBERT E. PAINE,
Colonel Fourth Wisconsin Regiment, Commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant PETER FRENCH,