War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0042 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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railroad, abandoned their position. The night was passed upon the hill in the captured works. On the morning of the 14th Brigadier-General Marston, with three regiments of his brigade and the Thirty-ninth Illinois of my division, reported to me. During the night of the 13th heavy skirmishing took place on the railroad at the foot of the hill . In the morning I receiving and obeyed an order to move toward the turnpike and connect my right with the left of Turner's division. This movement brought my force directly in front of the enemy's second line of works. My division was formed in the following, order, from right to left: Hawley's brigade on the right; then Plaisted's, White's with its left on the railroad and a little retired, and later in the day Marston's, on the west of the railroad. My right and center was in a low, wooded and marshy valley directly in front of which arose the ridge upon which was placed the enemy's formidable chain of works, those in front of the right and center consisting of three heavy redoubts, connected by strong infantry parapets. On the left of the railroad was an equally strong redoubt from which the line turning sharply to the north and flanking the road was visible for at least a mile. This chain, in all probability, extends to and rests upon Falling Creek. The remainder of the day and the following night were spent in active skirmishing with the enemy's advanced posts. On the morning of the 15th Marston's command, consisting of three regiments of his brigade and the Thirty-ninth Illinois, was pushed forward in front of the redoubt on the west of the railroad in support of Rockwell's battery, sent to the same point, and Warren's battery was placed on the right of the road in front of White. The day was spent in skirmishing, in getting our batteries into position, and in a heavy cannonade upon the redoubt directly in front of my right. The enemy's sharpshooters and skirmishers were very annoying, and a strong effort was made to drive them in. For this purpose the first lines of Hawley's and Plaisted's brigades advanced in the most gallant manner up the hill, and secured a protected position within 300 yards of the works. This position was never afterward lost until orders were given to fall back, on the morning of the 16th although several charges were made upon it by the enemy. During the afternoon I was directed by the major-general commanding to examine the redoubt on my right, with reference, to the practicability of taking it by assault. I did so, and reported that it was a strong work of high relief, and at least partially covered by an abatis; that an assault would in all probability sacrifice many men witch a doubtful result. Under the supposition that the redoubt directly in Marston's front was the extreme left of the enemy's line, I also examined the ground in that vicinity with reference to turning movement similar to that by which we had obtained possession of the first line of works. This examination disclosed the existence of the chain spoken of above, and demonstrated the impossibility of the operation unless attempted by a large force moving on an arc of very considerable radius. During the afternoon one of General Marston's regiments was placed upon the hill captured on the 13th, with an outpost of four companies at Salem Church, on the Chesterfield road, and the First New York Mounted Rifles, under Colonel Onderdonk, which had reported to men were directed to connect the church with Marston's left by a chain of vedettes. The Eleventh Maine Volunteers, of Plaisted's brigade,