War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0051 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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Darling, westerly across the turnpike and railroad. The right of these works is protected by a creek and swamp running from southwest to northeast close by them. Our road crossed the creek and passed close under the elevation crowned by the right of the works. Skirmishers of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, Colonel Osborn, were ahead of us as we approached the swamp. The Third New Hampshire was here detached and ordered to the left, some distance down the creek, to cross it bey a broken bridge, and assault the works in the rear.

Having the Seventeenth Connecticut and Seventh New Hampshire deployed on the right and left of the main road, facing the swamp, I was ordered to charge the work visible over the causeway across the swamp, the narrow road passing right under the works, which were on a considerable elevation. Major Brooks, of Major-General Gillmore's staff, having just reported the morass impassable, I reported the fact to General Terry, who immediately ordered me to follow and support Lieutenant-Colonel Plimpton, who by this time had become fiercely engaged. Moving in the direction of the sounds, I brought the regiments into column in an open field, and they hurried forward with enthusiasm. As we neared the road by which the Third New Hampshire crossed the swamp, we met Major Randlett, of the Third New Hampshire, and a large number of the Third coming back wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Plimpton soon appeared, reporting that his regiment was in danger on his left flank, on which the enemy appeared to be coming. The Seventeenth New Hampshire was ordered across the creek, and it went over and up through the strip of woods, where it formed on the edge of the field, covering the Third, which had met largely superior forces, and after a most gallant fight, having advanced up the field to a house and outbuildings, forcing the enemy to jump over their works and fight from the front of them, had been forced to retire. The Seventeenth Connecticut was about to follow the Seventeenth New Hampshire across the swamp, when it being reported that the work was apparently inclosed (a re-entering portion of it having certainly that look from the rear), and that forces were moving to attack the left flank of our column, the Seventh Connecticut was a little withdrawn, and moved off in line to meet such force. The Third New Hampshire, which had met at least one brigade (some prisoners reported two), had lost about 140 in a few minutes, and had taken 10 prisoners, was called back across the creek to reform. While my commanding officers halted a moment for consultation, and to discover the suspected movement against our flank, it was learned that Colonel White, of the Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania, with that and the [Fourth New Hampshire] regiment coming up the railroad upon the front of the works about the time of our attack, had caused their evacuation and had entered a portion of them. We immediately moved over, and occupied half a mile of the right of this most important line. I threw out four companies of the Seventeenth Connecticut as a picket-line on the north, under Captain Mills, and sent the Seventh New Hampshire down into a wood on the north side of the works to the railroad, to feel of a rebel light battery in sight toward the east, on the line supported by some infantry. Being unable to continue the movement beyond the railroad, they formed a good picket-line connecting with Captain Mills from which they were relieved at 10 p.m. by the Tenth Connecticut. Colonel Abbott's demonstrations, with those of the Third Brigade