War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0116 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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On Sunday morning, the 15th instant, I went out on a reconnaissance on the extreme right behind the cavalry picket. I found there a tolerably open, undulating country, extending to the river and to the works of Drewry's Bluff, offering every facility for the movement of a heavy column on our right and rear. Going from there to the right of Heckman's command, and finding an important road near our right only defended by the pickets, I sent back for more troops, and two regiments were sent to my assistance. These were ordered to report to General Heckman, and were disposed by him on the left of his line, and his own troops were extended to the right across the road, the right regiments being thrown back in echelon. In the afternoon I went with General Weitzel and General Heckman to a farm- house, about a hundred yards to the front and right of General Heckman's command. This farm-house was situated on a knoll opposite the flank of the bastion before described. To the northwest of the house a short distance ran a stream, which I suppose to be Kingsland Creek. At this knoll a good view of the country on our right was obtained, and I ordered the farm-house and outbuildings to be heavily occupied by the reserves of the picket guard. On informing the commanding general of the department that the necessary extension of my line had drawn me out into one think line of battle, and that I had no regiments with which to repair a break in my lines, and none to move to my right flank, I was informed that General Ames had three regiments at the Half-Way House, and that they would act as a reserve for my line. During that night, I have since learned, three assaults were made by the enemy upon the farm-house, which were repulsed by the troops stationed there. No report of this was made to me that night. A short time before daylight on the morning of the 16th I found everything quiet on my lines. There was at that time a them film of clouds over the sky, but not so heavy as to interfere seriously with the moonlight, and giving no indications whatever of a foggy morning. I returned to my quarters and my bed, but was shortly afterward aroused by a heavy musketry and artillery fire on the right of our line. On going out I found a fog so dense a horseman was not visible at a distance of 15 yards. I proceed to the turnpike, where I established my headquarters and communicated with Generals Weitzel and Brooks. At this point I sent word to have the artillery withdrawn, as the fog was so dense it could not be used, and it was so far advanced that it was in danger of being captured. The order did not reached some guns most exposed until it was too late, as the orderly who took the order gave it to a sergeant o the guns at the caissons, and the sergeant in carrying the order to the guns was killed.

Learning from General Weitzel, after some delay, that General Heckman's brigade had been badly crushed by an attack of the enemy in force on his right flank and right rear, and General Ames having previously dispatched one of his regiments to report to me, the One hundred and twelfth New York, it was ordered to hold the cross-roads in rear of General Heckman's right. This regiment met the enemy near the point where they were to take possession, and with the aid of the Ninth Maine, succeeded in holding in check this column of the enemy, which was moving in our rear. While this was going on, the enemy made furious assaults on my front, consisting of the brigades of Wistar and Burnham, in the divisions of Weitzel and Brooks. The density of the fog entirely preventing me