War of the Rebellion: Serial 044 Page 0851 Chapter XXXIX. EXPEDITIONS TO SOUTH ANNA RIVER, VA., ETC.

Search Civil War Official Records

deployed on my left, and the line, being so ordered, again advance. Lieutenant Stevenson now commanded the deployed platoon of Company F. The enemy`s fire was soon received, and, advancing, we returned it. The firing was resumed with the same vigor as before, both with small-arms and artillery, most of the shots passing over. The line opposed fell back at all points along our front excepting one, and although the shots of several of Company F were particularly directed toward it, the fire was not silenced. It was apparent that those of the enemy at that point were intrenched or protected in some manner. The right of F line was being checked, when Lieutenant Stevenson proposed to charge on their position, and, asking for volunteers to go with him, several offered. He took 5 of those first offering, viz, Corpl. John Cobb, Privates William D. Huff, Lewis Morse, Warren Monty, and Henry Wescott. The position against which they were to move was perpendicular to and to the left of the railroad, and was partially formed of timber, behind which seemed a number of the enemy; to their right were clumps of cedars and other bushes. Lieutenant Stevenson, with fixed bayonets and loaded pieces, moved behind these bushes across their right flank, and charged suddenly upon their rear with a yell. It was occupied by 15 or 16 of the enemy, some running, and others, when called on to surrender, threw down their arms; one was fired upon as he was running, and supposed killed, as he was seen to fall over the railroad track; another, not throwing down his gun, was wounded by Lieutenant Stevenson; 11 prisoners and 12 guns were sent to the rear, under a small guard taken from the reserve. At this time the signal to fall back was fired. The line moved back out of the range of the enemy`s fire, rallied on the reserve, and, forming company, I proceeded with the other three companies to join the battalion. Only 1 of my men was wounded-Private Nathan Curtis, hit on the thigh with a piece of shell, producing a painful contusion; he remained, however, with the line of skirmishers, falling back with them. The fire was severe, and, had it been lower, would have been severer in its effects. During the last half hour of the fire, the range of the artillery became more dangerous, several shell bursting near the reserves, and solid shot striking between the reserves and line of skirmishers; grape and shrapnel were also thrown. Allow me to say that the company, although somewhat excited under the first fire, obeyed all orders with ordinary promptness and regularity. The expenditure of ammunition averaged from 15 to 35 rounds per man, the firing being more deliberate than hasty, exposing my line less than a continual sheet of fire would, as in the darkness the fire of the pieces afforded the only certain range for us on the enemy. It gives me pleasure to be able to give so favorable a report of the behavior of Company F, their coolness and readiness to do their duty preventing in a goodly degree any demoralization which otherwise might have been their fate.

Yours, respectfully and obediently,

JOHN L. CUNNINGHAM,

Lieutenant 118th New York Infantry, Comdg. Company F.

Lieutenant J. L. CARTER,

Acting Adjutant.