War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0043 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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which reported during the afternoon, were also sent to hill. At night-fall the batteries were withdrawn, from their advanced position and the infantry were directed to intrench themselves. Shortly after dark the enemy made a vigorous assault upon Hawley's front, but they were thrown back upon their works with equal vigor. The night passed quietly. At daybreak the next morning the fire of skirmishers commenced along my whole front and along the line to my right. This soon increased to a very heavy firing of musketry and artillery, and it became evident that the enemy, taking advantage of a dense fog to conceal the movement, was endeavoring to force our lines. I soon received orders from Major-General Gillmore to prepare from an assault upon the works, and also to send, to report to Major-General Smith, two of my regiments. The preparations for an assault were soon made, and the Seventh New Hampshire and the Eleventh Maine Volunteers were sent to the Half-Way House on the turnpike. While this was in progress, the enemy made three assaults on my right and center, leaping over their works, and advancing with great speed and determination. In each case they were driven back with great loss, having made no impression whatever on our lines. Soon after this detachment was made, I received from Major-General Gilmore information that he intended to move Turner's division and my own by the right flank toward the turnpike, and attack in flank that portion of the enemy's force who were pressing in that direction. He also directed me to leave a strong chain of skirmishers to conceal the movement. The execution of this order had just commenced and the regiments were on the march when General Gillmore again informed me that he had received orders to fall back to the rear of General Smith, and directed me to take the by-paths leading from our position to the turnpike near Proctor's Creek. This was at about 10 a. m. Scarcely had I received this order when the enemy again charged upon Turner's division and my right and center. For a moment their fire of artillery and musketry was very severe, but they were soon, repulsed and, as i must believe, with heavy loss. After this repulse I again received orders to move to the rear and gain the turnpike. This movement was effected with scarcely any molestation from the enemy. The Twenty-fourth Massachusetts and the Tenth Connecticut, of Plaisted's brigade,were sent to re-enforce the troops already at the Half-Way House. The Seventh Connecticut and Third New Hampshire, of Hawley's brigade, were put in position hill just in advance of Proctor's Creek, and the remained of my command was formed near Perdue's house. I soon received instructions from Major-General Butler in person to take command of the troops at the Half-Way House, and to remain there until the whole of Brigadier-General Brook's command

then retiring on the right, should have passed that point. While awaiting of these troops, the enemy opened upon us with artillery at short range. Two sections of James' battery on our right immediately replied and soon silenced them. After the withdrawal of General Brooks' force, in obedience to my orders, the whole of my commands was withdrawn and returned to the entrenchments. All these movements were effected in perfect and without confusion, and no works of mine can do justice to the officers and men of my command. I shall take some other occasion to report the names of those who particularly distinguished themselves. I