War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0152 OPERATION IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter XLVIII.

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order along my whole front, and, at the suggestion of the major-general commanding the corps, I ordered telegraph wire to be stretched a short distance in front of this breast-work, and wound tightly around stumps, &c. This was done, except in Heckman's front, and proved of immense service. Why Heckman did not do it I do not know; he received the order. During the night several ineffectual attempts were made by the enemy to dislodge the force in the farm-house, and Heckman's command was in line of battle several times, only a part of his command being allowed to sleep. It is also reported that Cap. J. B. Lawerence, Ninth New Jersey Volunteers (wounded and now at Chesapeake Hospital), who commanded the force at the farm-house, reported to General Heckman that the enemy was massing troops during the night near his position. This was not reported to me at all.

Early on Monday morning, and when the fog was so dense that one could see only a few yards, heavy firing commenced on my right, and shortly afterward along my whole front. Soon Heckman's brigade, after a most stubborn resistance, was crushed by a very large and overwhelming force. The remaining regiments, seven in number, held their ground against repeated attacks of the enemy, repulsing the latter with great slaughter. Soon after the fight began two regiments of the Second Brigade, Third Division, Tenth Army Corps (the Ninth Maine and One hundred and twelfth New York), under Colonel J. C. Drake, re-enforced me, and were by me pleased across the direct road on my right to check the enemy and hold that road. This was effectually done. After having personally posted these regiments, while on my way to look at the rest of my line, I was ordered to fall back. I gave the order. A short time afterward I was ordered to cease falling back and again to take my old position. These orders produced a slight confusion, but were being consummated when I was again ordered to fall back to the same line with General Brooks. Just before I went to post Colonel Drake's regiments, I ordered one of my staff officer to direct Colonel Pickett, Twenty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, the senior officer of Heckman's brigade left, to collect the remnants of the brigade and reform in the open space at the Half-Way House. This was done. After we had retreated to the open space in rear of our position, I formed the Ninety-eighth New York, Twenty-first Connecticut, and Eighth Maine in one brigade, and placed Colonel Wead, Ninety-eighth New York Volunteers, in command of it, and ordered it, with the remnants of the Ninth New Jersey on its left, to advance again. This was done and checked all pursuit on the part of the rebels. A short time after this I was ordered to move to their right and cover the short and directed road to our entrenchments. This I did, forming my whole command, now consisting of thirteen regiments, in two lines, so as to cover the road effectually. In the afternoon four regiments of my first line were advanced in echelon to fell the enemy and try to regain our original position, and get off our wounded. The skirmishers were well advanced we could find these regiments fell back to the position they had left. Toward evening the army started for home, my command bringing up the rear and suffering not the least molestation from the enemy. We reached camp about 9 o'clock.

I saw a great deal of good conduct on part of officers and men during these operations. Major Converse, of the Eleventh Connecti-