War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0847 Chapter XXXIX. EXPEDITIONS TO SOUTH ANNA RIVER, VA., ETC.

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Day wounded, and Privates [Edgar] Comstock and [Arad B.] Mickle missing, supposed to have been taken prisoners. Respectfully submitting the above report for approval,

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Captain, Commanding Company A, 118th New York.

Lieutenant J. L. CARTER,

Acting Adjutant.

Numbers 8. Report of Captain Edward Riggs, One hundred and eighteenth New York Infantry.

LIEUTENANT: In obedience to orders this day received from regimental headquarters, I have the honor to submit to the commanding officer of the regiment the following report of the operations of my company (D), in the affair of the night of the 4th instant, at South Anna, or Hanover, Bridge: At about 10. 30 o'clock of that night, my company then forming the right of the battalion, and bivouacked in line of battle behind their stacks of arms on the high ground occupied by the regiment, I received orders from Acting Adjutant Carter to form my company quickly and quietly; that the men should leave behind everything excepting their arms and accouterments, and proceed directly, under command of Major Nichols, to support the skirmishers, already thrown forward. This order was executed at once, and I proceeded with my company, under the direction of Major Nichols, along the railroad track toward the bridge, a distance of nearly half a mile from the carriage-road, crossing to the place then occupied by the reserve of the skirmishers previously thrown forward. Here I was halted, and ordered to file to the left down the railroad embankment into the woods till I should reach the left of Company F, already deployed, and there deploy one-half my company as skirmishers, the right to rest on the left of Company F, and to hold the other had in reserve. At the same time I was ordered by Major Nichols to be particular in cautioning my men not to fire excepting upon what was known to be an enemy; and a discharge of four guns in rapid succession from the reserve was fixed upon as the signal for the line of skirmishers to retreat and assemble on the reserve at the railroad track. I accordingly filed to the left, down the steep embankment, and took my position on the left of Company F, commanded by Lieutenant Cunningham, deploying my first platoon as skirmishers, with an interval of 2 or 3 paces between each man, and leaving my second platoon in reserve, under command of First Lieutenant Kellogg. The line of skirmishers thus deployed lay along the edge of the woods, in a ditch or dry water-course looking out upon an open field or meadow, and protected by a slight elevation of ground in front, a position most admirably adapted to cover and protect a line of skirmishers from the fire of an advancing enemy, or to rally behind, in case of a retreat before superior numbers.