War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0062 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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lanyard, and my thanks are due to Private Clapp, of Company K, for the promptness and ingenuity displayed by forming one from a piece of telegraph wire near at hand.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

O. S. SANFORD,

Major Seventh Connecticut Vols., Commanding Detachment.

Lieutenant Colonel D. C. RODMAN,

Commanding Regiment.

HDQRS. SEVENTH REGIMENT CONNECTICUT VOLS., Bermuda Hundred, Va.,

May 17, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the part taken by this command, consisting of 17 commissioned officers and 510 enlisted men, in the action of May 16, 1864:

We left the bivouac occupied by the Second Brigade, First Division, Tenth Army Corps, about dark on the night of the 15th instant, and proceeded to the front to relieve the Third New Hampshire Volunteers, who were on duty in rifle-pits about 400 yards in front of the enemy's works, on the left of the position occupied by our forces. I immediately sent out 2 men from each company about 100 yards to the front of our position as picket, with instructions to fire and fall back, if the enemy advanced in force.

Everything remained quiet until about 4 o'clock on the morning of the 16th, when heavy firing and cheering was heard on the right of our lines, increasing and nearing our position until about 5 o'clock, when the enemy tried to force the lines on our left and were driven back. In about fifteen minutes the picket in our front fired and fell back, reporting the enemy advancing in force. It being very foggy at the time they could not be seen until within 40 or 50 yards of our position. I immediately opened upon them, driving them back with great loss. They rallied and advanced a second and third time, with a determined to carry the position, but were at each attempt repulsed, leaving the dead and wounded in great numbers on our front. I was soon informed that the enemy had forced the line back on my right, and was pouring an enfilading fire upon my right flank. I ordered a fire to be opened from an angle in the center of my lines in that direction, and from my right flank company, which silenced the enemy for a short time. I sent word to the colonel commanding brigade to have my right supported, and I would hold the position against any force. The fog lifting about that time, I could see the enemy about 100 yards on my right flank, secreted behind a fence and trees, picking my men off. I set sharpshooters at work and succeeded in keeping them down. I then sent word that my right was unsupported. Colonel Henry, Fortieth Massachusetts Volunteers, came and looked at the position occupied by the enemy, and immediately pushed his command forward and drove them back. I soon received orders to leave a strong picked force and fall back. I had 15 men from each company selected to remain under charge of Lieutenants Barker, Gilbert, and Young, the whole under command of Captain Dennis, and was about to fall back with the rest of my command, when I received orders to fall back immediately with the whole, and from in the field to the rear of the woods. I then gave orders, but the men who had been selected to stay not bearing it remained. We fell back rapidly, the enemy