then it was a mile or more down the pike and half a mile from in the woods. Here my picket-line was for a short distance on the pike, then obliquely to the left and made the connection, a force of the enemy constantly near, whose scouts were prowling about my line. At dark I was ordered to draw in my line, move to General Ames' headquarters (in the woods somewhere), and return to camp. Guided by Adjutant Fox and Lieutenant Adams, who had been over the ground, I succeeded in passing unmolested through the woods, while, if I had moved down the pike as intimated, I should have come in collision with an overpowering force of the enemy before reaching assistance. I finally arrived at camp inside the intrenchments at 9.30 p.m., with all nearly broken down by fatigue and the constant watchfulness required during the previous ten days. I am thus minute in this report I have during the whole time been disconnected from the command of the colonel commanding the brigade, acting under orders from some seven different generals and brigade commanders.
It affords me great pleasure to say that too much praise cannot be accorded to nearly every man of my command during the time reported, all, recruits as well as veterans, behaving coolly, nobly, under every circumstances of danger and hardship in which they were placed. If less distinguished in battle than some other regiments, I am sure it is only from lack of opportunity rather than of courage or desire. Many expressed a strong wish "to wade in" while they lay in line of battle in the field at the Half-Way House. It is unnecessary to report to the colonel commanding the brigade the conduct of the officers of my command while detached from under his personal observation, as he is sufficiently acquainted with them to judge for himself how well they would act under danger and hardship.
A list of the casualties received has been sent to the brigade headquarters.
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. P. SPOFFORD,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Captain CHARLES B. AMORY,
Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Third Brigadier, Terry's Division.
No. 26. Reports of Colonel Francis A. Osborn, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry, of operations May 7-16.
HDQRS. TWENTY-FOURTH Regiment MASSACHUSETTS VOLS., Bermuda Hundred, Va., May 8, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders from division headquarters, the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, under my command, took its position under arms in the Third Brigade, Colonel H. P. Plaisted, Eleventh Maine Volunteers, commanding, at 8 a.m. May 7, and shortly afterward took up the line of march toward the railroad connecting Petersburg and