War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0079 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

Search Civil War Official Records

farther from the wood was another large redoubt. Two guns only could be distinguished in it, though from its size it evidently contained more. On the high ground in the rear of these redoubts and covering them completely were two strong lines of earth-works with flank defenses. I reported the enemy's position to Colonel Plaisted, also to General Terry, who ordered me to move the regiment forward and advance the skirmishers into the open field, near enough to the enemy's works to protect the First Connecticut Battery, which was ordered to take position on our left, from the enemy's sharpshooters. The movement was executed with great promptness. We drove the enemy's skirmishers into their works, taking the position indicated and holding it through the day, our skirmishers keeping the enemy from their guns in the redoubts most of the time. At 9.30 in the evening the enemy made a determined attack along the entire front of the brigade. It was handsomely repulsed at every point, my regiment having but five rounds of ammunition per man left when the assault commenced. We held the position until 11 p.m., and were then relieved by the Thirty-ninth Illinois Volunteers. Retiring a short distance we bivouacked in line of battle. Our loss during the day was 3 killed and 12 wounded, including 1 commissioned officer, Captain Brewster. 15th, the regiment remained in bivouac all day. Sent to camp for our shelter tents in compliance with orders from division headquarters. 16th, a furious cannonade, with heavy volleys of musketry, commenced on our right at 4.30 a.m. The regiment was formed in order of battle immediately, and at 6 was ordered forward to support an assault on the enemy's works. No assault was made, however, and at 9.30 Colonel Plaisted ordered me to move my command off by the right flank, taking are to keep up communication with Colonel Hawley's brigade, which was executing the same movement on our right. We moved off as directed, and on reaching the open field near General Gillmore's quarters took position to cover the withdrawal of the advance regiments of our brigade and a portion of Colonel Hawley's. While in this position the enemy attacked us in strong force, but was completely repulsed after a sharp engagement, in which we took several prisoners, our own loss being 3 killed and 15 wounded. As the enemy fell back I sent forward a body of skirmishers, under Captain Goodyear, and ascertained they had left our front entirely. The regiment remained in this position until the killed and wounded had all been removed and was then withdrawn, taking a new position to cover the retreat of a portion of White's brigade on our left. After day had all retired the regiment fell back to the position occupied by our artillery, and joining the other regiments of the brigade, which had retired down the railroad, marched rapidly across to the Richmond turnpike, and again formed in line of battle to cover the withdrawal of the troops in front. At 2 p.m., in company with the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, we advanced up the turnpike to the Half-Way House and were posted by Colonel Plaisten on the left of the road to support a section of James' battery. The enemy placed two rifled guns in position on the road in front and commenced shelling us furiously. Our own artillery limbered up at the first, and at a second started for the rear at a gallop, not firing a shot. The shelling continued for half an hour. Lieutenant Hickerson and several men were hit with pieces of shell and spherical case-shot, but only one man was injured so as to be compelled to leave the ranks. The regiment remained in this position