War of the Rebellion: Serial 039 Page 0502 N. VA., W. VA., AND PA. Chapter XXXVII.

Search Civil War Official Records

of the opening behind the brick house before mentioned. At about noon, I received orders to report with my command to General Birney for a reconnaissance. I received general instructions from General Birney, which were to skirmish through the woods, keeping in the direction of a smoke which was rising from the woods on the southeast of our position. I deployed my First Regiment in the woods, using the Second Regiment as a reserve, and ordered them to advanced and drive the rebels from the woods. My skirmishers soon engaged the enemy's skirmishers, consisting of a portion of the Twenty-third Georgia, and drove them steadily from the woods, where they rallied at a large building, apparently used as a foundry. I then advanced my right and left, with flankers from the Second Regiment, and kept up so accurate and rapid a fire than the enemy dared not leave the cover of the building. I then ordered my men to cease firing, and called upon the rebels to surrender, upon which they came in, after throwing down their arms and showing a white rag. The support of their skirmishers, with those who were able to escape, fell back along the road and rallied in a lane, covering in their retreat a wagon train, which was visible moving down the road. After sending the prisoners to the rear, I caused my left to gradually advance, keeping the attention of the enemy by desultory firing while I rapidly pushed forward my right in the woods until I had outflanked them and opened fire. They then attempted to come out of the railroad cut, in which they had taken shelter, and to retreat to the rear, but on meeting our fire they returned again to their cover, and very soon threw down their arms and surrendered. The whole number of prisoners taken was 365, including 19 officers, among whom was the major of the regiment. Our loss was trifling. Four regiments of infantry were brought up to our support, and I established a line of pickets along the road as far as I thought it safe to do so. About sunset we were ordered to withdraw, which we did, bringing all of our men who had not been killed. The guns, which were Springfield muskets, we were compelled to destroy. The whole affair was very successful, and had we been promptly supported, I am confident we could have taken the battery and a portion of the enemy's train.

At night we bivouacked with our division, and on Sunday morning I was relieved from duty with General Birney, and reported to Genera Whipple. I posted my First Regiment in the woods on the right of the Plank road, deploying two divisions as skirmishers, and ordering them to advance, firing. They drove back a heavy line of the enemy's skirmishers with a rapid fire from their breech-loading rifles, and took of those who passed by them, behind trees, and of the portion of the enemy's line which extended farther to the right than my line, as nearly as I can judge from the reports of my officers, from 318 to 325 prisoners, besides killing a great many of the enemy. They advanced until they met the double lines of the enemy, when they retired, firing, to their supports. I held my Second Regiment as reserve, and afterward posted it farther to the right. Our loss here was considerable.

On Sunday afternoon, a detachment of about 120 men was posted near the building occupied as a hospital, under the command of Captain Wilson, and at the request of General Barnes, of the First Division, Fifth Corps, it drove the enemy from the woods and established a picket line for a portion of the Fifth Corps. He was afterward ordered by General SIckles to move to the left and establish the line in front of the Third Corps, which was done. He was relieved on Monday morning by my Second Regiment, and the remainder of my command was stationed behind slight works, thrown up by themselves, like the rest of