the crest of the hill overlooking the river, when the enemy's batteries opened lively upon us; but here we were protected in a great measure by the woods. Having arrived on the crest of the hill, I ordered a halt, believing the main body had then the proper position to make the required reconnaissance. I remained in the wood with the regiment, but in a short distance from the road, and seeing some officers on the road whom I took for staff officers, I called for orders, and was answered, "Move forward." I did so. Captain Weed, of the artillery, was near, and must have heard the order. A number of my officers heard it. I moved forward to the river under a heavy fire of artillery and some musketry, the greater part of the latter from hidden positions. I expected to meet a body of the rebel infantry, covered by the river bank. Our skirmishers fired on and, I believe, killed a number of those of the enemy. At the bank of the river I ordered the regiment to lie down, but, finding the left of the line had not come up, believed there was some mistake, and retired without orders to the wood. Here I met Lieutenant-Colonel Sargent, who asked me to send back a flag of truce for the wounded. I did so, and turned over the regiment to Captain Overton, and remained in the rear to see that the wounded were properly attended to.
The following is a list of officers with the regiment: Captain O'Connell, commanding First Battalion and the regiment: Companies A, Lieutenant Henton; B, Lieutenant Walker; C, Lieutenants Collins and Doebler; D, Lieutenant Bellows; F, Captain Smedberg and Lieutenant Sinclair; G, Lieutenants Brodhead and McKibbin; H, Captain Watson and Lieutenant Moroney, and Lieutenant Loosley, adjutant. Second Battalion, commanded by Captain Overton; Companies E and D, Captain O'Beirne; C, Lieutenant Perry; F and B, Lieutenant Porter; G, Captain Locke, and Assistant Surgeon Jaquett. Companies E, First, and H and A, Second Battalion, were left at camp on picket, and Captain Keyes as field officer of the day.
The casualties were as follows: First Battalion, wounded, 11 enlisted men. Second Battalion, 1 commissioned officer, 15 enlisted men wounded; since died, 5 enlisted men. It is feared, from the nature of the wounds, that a number of the wounded will die. A number of the command were struck with stones, thrown by the bursting of shells, &c. Captain Smedberg had his coat shot through.
The regimental officers and men behaved in a manner much to be admired.
It is about 3 1/2 miles to the ford; the road is very good. The river, at and in the vicinity of the ford, is about 6 rods wide, and now fordable. The enemy has about five pieces of artillery on the other side, nearly a quarter of a mile, well supported, I think, by infantry. There are some houses, apparently deserted, on both sides at the ford.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. D. O'CONNELL,
Captain Fourteenth Infantry, Commanding Regiment in Field.
First Massachusetts Cavalry, near Hdqrs. Fifth Army corps.
Respectfully transmitted to headquarters, with the fullest indorsement as to gallant conduct of the Fourteenth U. S. Infantry in the charge referred to. No order to make such a charge was given by me. When I could no longer maintain my few cavalry under fire so severe-it being yet necessary to force information- I ordered the infantry skir-