I at once ascertained the position of the enemy and commenced the attack. The wood and underwood was so thick between me and the enemy I had therefore to use great care that I might not fire on our own troops. The fire form my pieces was most rapid and beautiful. Officers and men attached to them deserve the highest credit for their skill and the anxiety they manifested to perform their duty. I have been gratified by the assurance that the fire was very effectual. The farther advance of the enemy ceased. At 5.30 o'clock in the evening I received an order from General Gillmore to withdraw my force within the entrenchments, except a strong picket on the line which I then occupied, which I did. I take occasion to remark here that Colonel Barton reported promptly to me with his brigade. I desire here to speak in the highest terms of praise of the gallantry and firmness manifested by the regiments of my old brigade, including the Eleventh Maine, temporarily assigned to me, both officers and men. This will apply to all the other troops which composed my force. As Colonel Voris' command was made up largely of other forces besides hid own regiment, and as he was acting exclusively under orders directly from corps or division headquarters, he has made his report* directly to you, which I respectfully transmit herewith. I beg leave also to transmit the report+ of Captain Hughes with regard to torpedoes, referred to by Colonel Campbell.
I have the honor to be, captain, with great respect, your obedient servant,
JOSHUA B. HOWELL,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Captain ADRIAN TERRY,
A D D E N D A.
Itinerary of the First Brigade, First Division, Tenth Army Corps, May 4-20++.
May 4.-Embarked on transports at Gloucester Point, Va.
May 5.-Left that place in the morning, and arrived at Bermuda Hundred, Va., same evening.
May 6.-Disembarked at that place and took the advance toward the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, the Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers leading in skirmishing order; bivouacked near the present line of entrenchments.
May 9.-Moved from the entrenchments toward Chester Station. The Eight-fifth Pennsylvania and Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers, under command of Colonel Thomas O. Osborn, moved out as skirmishers on the right flank and advanced to Howlett's house. The Sixty-seventh Ohio Volunteers, Colonel Voris, was advanced on the Richmond turnpike to cover our right, while engaged in destroying the railroad. The Sixty-second Ohio Volunteers, Colonel Pond was detailed, by order of General Butler, for duty at the post of Bermuda Hundred on the 6th.
May 10.-The Sixty-seventh Ohio Volunteers were attacked by the enemy in force, and steadily held the line until re-enforced and relieved by fresh troops. Same night the whole command returned
+See p. 49.
++ From return for May.