Twentieth Massachusetts occupying their first position, in rear of the Irish Brigade.
About 1 p. m. on the 17th orders having been received from the general, the Fifty-second and Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers and Twentieth Massachusetts Volunteers were drawn off and placed in a wood, to the left and rear of the town, near the road, preparatory to following Caldwell's brigade to the rear. The Second Delaware Volunteers was ordered to remain with the battery, but joined this brigade, by subsequent orders from the general commanding, just as Caldwell's command had passed. No interruption occurred on the march till near Halltown, when the command was halted, and under orders, line of battle was formed by my brigade to the left or south side of the road, sheltered by a wood. Skirmishers were thrown forward to the next wood in advance, toward Charlestown, to relieve those of General Kimball, and were afterward established as pickets. The whole brigade remained in this position until about an hour after sunrise on the 18th, when, by the general's order, in conjunction with the remainder of his command, it marched back to camp on Bolivar Heights, without any casualty whatever during the expedition. I am happy to state that the conduct of officers and men was all that could be desired.
The regiments under my orders during the reconnaissance were commanded follows: The Second Delaware Volunteers, Colonel William P.
Baily-Second New York Volunteers, Colonel Paul Frank; Fifty-seventh
New York Volunteers, Major A. B. Chapman, and Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers, Colonel Joseph C. Pinckney.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. K. ZOOK,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain JOHN HANCOCK,
Numbers 4. Report of Colonel William R. Lee, Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding Provisional Brigade.
HEADQUARTERS. THIRD Brigadier, SECOND DIV., SECOND CORPS,
Bolivar, Va., October 23, 1862.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with the direction of General Hancock, I have the honor to report the following as the operations of the troops under my command in the late reconnaissance to Charlestown, Va.:
To the Twentieth Massachusetts, Seventh Michigan, Forty-second New York, and Fifty-ninth New York, of the brigade under my command, were added the First Minnesota and Seventy-first and Seventy-second Pennsylvania Regiments. The First Minnesota, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan, was detached for skirmishers, under command of Colonel Brooke, and remained so detached during the reconnaissance. The Twentieth Massachusetts was directed to act witch Colonel Zook's brigade at the commencement of the firing, in advance, and was absent from the brigade until the return to camp.
When advanced about 1 mile beyond Halltown, I received orders to move forward on the left of the road, in line of battle, and to support batteries then engaged. The Forty-Second New York, the Seventh Michigan, and Seventy-first Pennsylvania were formed in line of battle,