War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0067 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

Search Civil War Official Records

the following named men were wounded: Private James Ryan, Company E, in leg (slight); Private John L. Wing, Company K, in finger (slight); Private John Wilson, Company K, in hand (severe). I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. I. PLIMPTON,

Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Third New Hampshire Vols.

Lieutenant E. LEWIS MOORE,

A. A. A. G., Second Brigadier, First Div., Tenth Army Corps.

HDQRS. THIRD NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS, Bermuda Hundred, Va.,

May 16, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Third New Hampshire Volunteers during the past four days:

We left camp on the morning of the 12th instant, marched to the west side of the turnpike near Perdue's house, and bivouacked for the night.

Next morning marched to the right of the enemy's line of intrenchments, a distance of about 6 miles,when we were ordered to pass to the rear of a fort on his right and take the same. As I approached the ford I found I must pass over a creek with a bridge two planks wide, pass up a steep hill so thickly wooded as to be unable to deploy until I had reached the open field within the fort. Just as we commenced to cross the bridge I found the enemy had discovered us and thrown a line of skirmishers on the crest of the hill in front to stop our approach. They opened and it was returned by my advance. I hurried forward as fast as possible, and finding no possibility of deploying in line I pushed forward by the flank, left in front, and as I reached the field swung round into line as best we could. My men steadily advanced, driving the enemy (who were now pressing upon us in large numbers) back to the parapet of his work, and he, finding no one advancing on his front, jumped over the parapet in front of his work and took cover there, and many of them occupied the buildings, from which place they continued a heavy fire upon us, my men taking the best cover they could find. The enemy far outnumbered my command and had excellent cover, but my men tenaciously held their position until about 500 of the enemy were discovered on our left flank passing to our rear, evidently with the intention to flank us. I sent for re-enforcements, and after waiting as long as I considered my men safe from the flanking party and no help coming, I ordered them to fall back to the edge of the wood and there form line, intending to throw my left wing back to oppose the flanking party while my right should hold the front until help should come; but the fire of the enemy was so terrible as they crossed the open field I found it impossible to stop the until they reached the bottom of the ravine at the cree, where I was forming them, when re-enforcements came, and I was ordered back across the creek in the field to form. The force I had to contend with in the fort was said by the prisoners taken to consist of two brigades, numbering about 3,000. In this engagement we took some 8 or 10 prisoners. That evening we were placed in the trenches for the night. Next morning (14th) moved along the enemy's line of intrenchments and took up position in his front, and while dawn up in column as support