War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0066 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter XLVIII.

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June 7, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded with the corrections called for.


Captain, Commanding Regiment.

No. 20. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Josiah I. Plimton, Third New Hampshire Infantry, of operations May 9-June 2.


May 11, 1864.

SIR: In accordance with instructions received from brigade headquarters, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken in the affair of the past two days by the Third New Hampshire Volunteers:

We left camp about 7 o'clock on the morning of the 9th, marched with the brigade to Chester Station, on Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, arriving about 12 m. Marched thence down the railroad to Port Walthall Junction, arriving about 2 p.m.; thence to Richmond turnpike, where the regiment was ordered to report to Brigadier-General Terry, and by him posted at Brandon Bridge, on a road from Richmond to Petersburg, 2 1/2 miles from Petersburg, where we arrived about an hour after dark, with instructions to hold the position and allow no troops to advance across the bridge; to reconnoiter the position of the enemy; the condition of the bridge; the enemy's batteries; the depth of water in the river, &c. I marched the column to within about 700 yards of the brigade, formed a line of battle, and advanced with a line of skirmishers to within about 150 yards of the bridge, where I met the enemy advancing. (I was afterward informed by a man living near by that the enemy numbered 200, and were advancing to capture a cavalry patrol that had previously looked the ground over.) The enemy opened fire, which was returned, when he opened with grape and canister from a work on the opposite side of the river. The firing lasted but a few minutes. It being quite dark and knowing very little of the position of the enemy or the ground, I did not try to push the enemy back, but posted my pickets for the night.

While reconnoitering the next morning, the enemy opened with grape and canister, firing a few rounds. This position was held until 1 p.m. 10th instant, when I was ordered to fall back. Proceeded up the turnpike to division headquarters, and was ordered to deploy my regiment as skirmishers at the front, where I remained until about 6 p.m., when I was ordered to return to camp.

All the officers of my command behaved so well it would be difficult to select any particular one for special praise. The men behaved well and underwent their fatiguing duties cheerfully. The casualties were: Private John Smith, of Company D, wounded in hand (severe); Private Patrick Manfsield, Company I, in head (dangerously); and Private John Kennedy, Company A, a case of sunstroke. In returning to camp, shots were accidentally fired by catching the triggers in the bushes, it being dark at the time, and