War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0144 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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the command of General Heckman, commanding the brigade on the extreme right. A short time before sundown on the 15th the regiment took its position on the left of the brigade of General Heckman, with the left joining the right of General Wistar's command, which position we were ordered to hold at all hazards. The pickets were kept well out to the front during the night, but nothing unusual transpired till about 4 o'clock on the morning of the 16th, when a very heavy fire of musketry was opened on the right of our brigade, accompanied by tremendous yelling. After this firing had mostly ceased my own pickets became warmly engaged and reported that a body of the enemy were passing around to the right by the flank. The fog was so dense that nothing could be seen at a distance, and the enemy's artillery were playing upon with shell and case-shot. I went to the regiment next on my right, the Eighth Maine Volunteers, to ascertain the state of affairs, and found that regiment moving away by the flank, and learned that the right had been completely crushed. The Eighth Maine then took a position at right angles with that held by my regiment, with its left resting on my center, but subsequently it advanced sufficiently to bring its left to my right.

During this time my skirmishers and their supports had been warmly engaged, received a fire in front and flank. At this time they were driven in by an advance of the enemy in line. A few volleys from the breast-works compelled this line to retire, and the skirmishers were again thrown out. About this time I received information that re-enforcement were coming to our assistance and would again occupy the old line of the right of my regiment. I then charged forward my right wing, which had swung around to the rear along the line of breast-works three times to regain their position, and succeeded in forcing back the enemy about 100 yards to its former position, and the Eighth Maine attempted a similar movement, but by the time two of its companies had got into position they were received by a galling fire in front and flank, which compelled them to retire, leaving my flank and rear entirely unprotected. I then charged front to rear, bringing my left into and at right angles with the right of General Wistar's line. By the time this movement was completed the regiment on my left retired, leaving my regiment alone on the line, and, being hard pressed, receiving a fire on both flanks and in front, I retired slowly in line, fighting, until I reached the cross-roads leading out of the swamp, which I followed into the open field. Here the brigade line was reformed and advanced into the woods about 100 yards, under the orders of Colonel Wead, of the Ninety-eighth New York, where we remained about thirty minutes warmly engaged, and then retired with the rest of Colonel Wead's command into the field. Subsequently with the brigade we took a position on the second line, where we remained until 6 p. m., about which time we retired to the line of entrenchments, acting as rear guard for the division. The following is the list of casualties.*

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

[THOS. F. BURPEE,]

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding Regiment.

ASST. ADJT. General, Brigadier General WEITZEL'S COMMAND.

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*Nominal list (omitted) shows 14 enlisted men killed, 6 officers and 63 enlisted men wounded, and 24 enlisted men missing; total, 6 officers and 101 enlisted men.

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