Numbers 86. Report of Captain William G. Pride, First Connecticut Heavy Artillery, of operations June 2.
BATTERY PRIDE (Redoubt Dutton), June 6, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that on the morning of June 2, 1864, between the hours of 5 and 6 a. m., the enemy appeared and drove in the pickets on our front, composed of the Seventh Connecticut, and compelled them to take shelter under the guns of this redoubt. After some brisk skirmishing the rebels appeared in numbers at the edge of the woods to the right and opposite our front, and I opened upon them a fire of canister, which made them beat a hasty retreat. Finding they did not advance, I ordered forward about 40 men of the cavalry supports under a lieutenant and 21 men from Company L, under the first sergeant, with instructions to form a junction with our pickets on the left. Judging that this support was not enough I sent forward the remainder of Company L., under Lieutenant Rogers (retaining 21 men, sufficient to serve the pieces in the fort), with orders to deploy on the right. At this moment I discovered a white flag waving in the bushes at the spot at which the canister had been fired. The line of skirmishers advanced, and on coming up to the flag they found a squad of the enemy concealed in the underbrush, who were ordered to surrender, which they accordingly did by giving up their arms. I cannot state positively which party came upon the prisoners first, as they were considerably scattered through the edge of the woods and kept coming in until the whole number (23) had arrived. I amy state here that there was not a rifle fired by either company L or the cavalry support, and that these prisoners were captured merely because, being under a direct fire from our howitzers, there was no way of retreat for them without causing a heavy loss of life on their part. This fact they acknowledge to me. In the mean time my 21 men, under the first sergeant, on the left and the cavalry supports in the center, had advanced and occupied without resistance our original picket-line. On the right I had instructed Lieutenant Rogers not to advance up to the rifle-pits, fearing they might be in the woods in force, as it was at this point that the enemy had advanced to the attack. The pickets of the Seventh Regiment at this time lay just in advance of the fort in charge of a captain and lieutenant, to whom I went and ordered them to rally their men and advance to their original line, also telling them that I had sent out sufficient force to hold the picket-post. They then advanced beyond Lieutenant Rogers' line of skirmishers, but the captain in charge of the Seventh Connecticut remarking that he could not hold the line without assistance, Lieutenant Rogers advanced his men in conjunction with the Seventh and posted them in the rifle-pits. I then sent a dispatch to General Terry stating the circumstances and asking for sufficient force to relieve my men and the supports. Company L men were relieved in the course of half an hour, the cavalry remaining an hour longer.
In this affair we sustained no casualties, although by all accounts the enemy suffered severely from our destructive fire of canister. The body of Colonel Dantzler, Twenty-second South Carolina Regiment, was brought in by 2 men from Company L, and 2 cavalrymen