Brisk fire was kept up for some time by both parties until the enemy gave way and ran for the woods again. We followed them driving them back in the woods out of sight (but not out of hearing, as much abusive language passed back and forth). We occupied the ground held by them for about ten minutes. I judged their game was to draw us on. I had previously heard the numbering of artillery back of them, and I fell back on the rise of ground to my first position in close order. They charged down the road to the position they had occupied and I had just left, and deployed again, I doing the same behind the fence in my position. In this relative position the firing was brisk on both sides. The enemy opened with two pieces of artillery and a heavy line of skirmishers, throwing out a force on both my flanks. I remained as long as I deemed it prudent, then fell back in good order on the Jackson house, and finally crossed the creek and took up a position just this side, removing the planks from the bridge, &c.
I remained in this last position until Captain Moschell's cavalry company came up and Lieutenant Richter, with the reserve pickets; also your own command.
My force kept the enemy in check about one hour and a half in the fight and I think three hours from the time we first saw them. The men of my command behaved splendidly under fire and deserved much credit.
You knowing so well the lay of the land I have not appended a diagram.
J. M. DRENNAN,
Lieutenant Commanding Co. F, Twenty-fifth Regiment Mass. Vols.
Captain J. W. DENNY,
Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.
Numbers 4. Report of Lieutenant Henry M. Richter, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Infantry.
CAMP NEAR HARRISON'S HOUSE,
November 12, 1862.
SIR: Yesterday afternoon at about 3 o'clock I hear firing in front of the outpost while I was visiting the pickets. I supposed the firing came from the foraging party which had left camp in the morning at 8 o'clock, under command of Lieutenant Drennan, so I rode slowly back, waiting for an increase or continuation of the firing. About a mile this side of Jackson's house I heard heavy musketry, and was informed by a messenger that the outpost was attacked by infantry, cavalry, and artillery, while Lieutenant Drennan held the Jackson house with his fatigue party. I at once dispatched all my pickets double-quick to the bridge about 50 paces this side of Jackson's house, where I relieved Lieutenant Drennan, who took the reserve, deploying my men 16 strong as skirmishers and holding bridge and creek.
The enemy in front of me was infantry, covered by an elevation of the ground, so that I had no object to fire on. The fire of the enemy had no effect whatever, as my men laid low and were covered by trees. We only fired a few shots at the enemy when he showed himself, with what effect I cannot say.