composed of the Ninth New Jersey, Twenty-third, Twenty-fifth, and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts Regiments, on a reconnaissance to Port Walthall Junction, on the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad. Left camp at 4 p. m., and, after passing the pickets of this camp, skirmishers and flankers were deployed, and the column proceeded with great caution. Met with no opposition (save a few pickets) until my arrival at Barnes' plantation, where we met the enemy in force. Their skirmishers were thrown forward and their line of battle was formed behind a fence on the edge of the woods. Their forces could be distinctly seen moving to my right and left. After making a proper disposition of my force to prevent a flank movement, I moved forward; shots were exchanged between skirmishers, when a tremendous volley was pureed into us from behind the fence and from the woods, which was replied to vigorously by us with artillery and infantry. Upon being assured that at least two brigades of the enemy were opposing me in front, and as a general engagement was not desired, I engaged them for a time and retired in perfect order, the enemy keeping up a heavy fire, officers and men being perfectly cool and obeying every order with as much precision as if at dress parade. Never did troops behave more nobly. I regret to state that owing to the limited number of stretchers allowed my command, in retiring I was compelled to leave a portion of my killed on the field to save the wounded. No ambulances were sent with my command, and not until after I had sent for them from the field did I have the transportation for the wounded-meeting the ambulances on the road.
Our loss was as follows:
Regiments Killed Wounded
9th New Jersey Volunteers 4 30
25th Massachusetts Volunteers 3 14
27th Massachusetts Volunteers 1 16
Total 8 60
I am, colonel, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. A. HECKMAN,
Lieutenant Colonel N. BOWEN,
Asst. Adjt. General, Eighteenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, SECOND DIV., 18TH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, May 7, 1864.
SIR: In obedience to orders, headquarters Eighteenth Army Corps, I started from camp with my brigade at 9.30 a. m., and proceeded in the direction of Port Walthall Junction, for the purpose of acting in conjunction with a force moving toward the same point on another route. After passing our pickets, skirmishers and flankers were deployed as on the previous day, and we advanced without opposition to the ground which I occupied on the 6th; found the enemy occupiyng their old position. After making a proper disp-