War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0053 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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The Third New Hampshire was furnished with a few shovels, and they very much strengthened their position. The night of the 14th and the day of the 15th wore slowly away with much picket-firing, particularly on our right, and frequent calls to arms. The Third New Hampshire lost 3 men killed and 5 wounded during the day. At night it was relieved by the Seventh Connecticut, under Major Sanford, the soreness of Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman's old wound and his exhaustion having compelled him to relinquish command on the evening of the 14th. At daylight on the morning of the 16th, there being an extremely dense fog, very heavy firing suddenly opened on our right in the direction of the Eighteenth Corps. I moved the Third and Seventh New Hampshire forward to the north edge of the wood in support of the Seventh Connecticut. Major Sanford had a few men in advance, who reported the enemy coming. It was not until it was within 50 or 75 yards that the enemy's line became visible through the fog. The Seventh Connecticut opened an astonishingly rapid fire, lasting but a minute or two, and ceasing promptly at the bugle-call. The enemy was silent and invisible, and the brigade cheered most vehemently. With considerable intervals of time twice again the enemy made similar attempts, with the same results and the same exultations from our men. The enemy got down upon Sanford's right flank and began to enfilade his pits. I opened communication with Colonel Henry, Fortieth Massachusetts, next on my right, armed with Spencer carbines, and he advanced a portion of his command most handsomely, driving the enemy back (though at the cost of some men), and removing the danger, for which we gratefully thank him. By order of General Terry, I sent the Seventh New Hampshire to the Half-Way House, on the turnpike, to report to General Smith and protect our communications. It lost there 1 officer and 3 men wounded by the mistaken fire of the Eighteenth Corps. It did not report to me again until it had returned to camp. Colonel Abbot had the Tenth New Hampshire with him them, and later in the day, being alone and seeing the enemy approach, Colonel Plaisted, with the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts and Tenth Connecticut, were sent to his support for a short time. The fog began to lift after 7 o'clock. I was ordered to prepare for an assault, or at least to make the appearance thereof. The Seventh Connecticut having no bayonets, I moved the Third New Hampshire up the slope to just in the rear of the Seventh Connecticut, arranging that when the proper time came the latter should open a furious fire, the Third charge, and the Seventh either follow the success or stand fast to check the repulse. Major Sanford threw forward a few sharpshooters, though but little could be done in that way. My next order was to leave a strong line of skirmishers to hold the position and fall back through the woods, concealing the movement. The latter was impossible, and Major Sandford reported that he could hold his place against all attacks, but to do it he must have his whole regiment. The Third New Hampshire came rapidly back, partially protected from the hot fire which followed it by the return sent from the Seventh Connecticut. In obedience to another order, I directed Major Sanford to let his skirmishers follow him, covering his rear. He had detailed nearly 150 to stay in the pit. Not all heard the order to follow back, and the enemy immediately coming over their works when the battalion left the pits, the gallant rear guard, resisting them fiercely, lost very heavily in killed, wounded, and captured. The Third New Hampshire