War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0195 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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under charge of one of my sergeants, who also took charge of his personal effects, excepting a gold watch, which was taken from his person by one of the men of the Seventh Connecticut and afterward sent for by men and received by the captain in charge of the cavalry supports, all of which were forwarded from this post with the body.

I am, sir, most respectfully, yours,


Captain Company L, First Connecticut Artillery.

First Lieutenant B. P. LEARNED,


Numbers 87. Report of Colonel George W. Cole, Second U. S. Colored Cavalry (unattached), of operations May 13-15.


COLONEL: I have the honor to report that having reported to Major-General Smith on the 13th, near Half-Way House, I was ordered to picket form the right of the infantry line to the river, and the line was traced for me by one of General Smith's staff by his order. I halted my command on the hill to the right of the general's headquarters for the night, and in the morning moved down to the edge of the woods, near the front of which, about 800 yards, was Heckman's brigade in line, and there bivouacked on the road leading direct to the front, about 300 yards from the edge of the woods on the right, between which and the James River were open, rolling fields, with a ravine in front, wooded, and scarcely passable. My picket-line commenced on the right of the infantry line and extended thence to the right and across, the left of my line resting on the edge of the woods and about 10 paces from the right infantry post. Thus it remained during Sunday, the 15th, varied by occasional shelling from a rebel boat on the river and rumors of a force across the river, which I at the time examined and found to be groundless, as often during the day. Finding my line did not seem to be observed by any officer of the day at about 3 o'clock I ordered Captain Tucker, Troop E (officer of the day for me), to place a movable sentinel also on post to the left, whose duty should be to see that full communication was kept with a howitzer on the edge of the woods in the field, about 500 yards in rear of my left post, to sweep the field if need be and cover the falling back of my pickets. The remaining howitzer and men I kept at the bivouac on the road. Early in the morning I heard a furious firing and charge directly in the road in front of my camp and to the left of it. Expecting a cavalry dash down the road I had my men in line at the edge of the wood and my howitzer ready to sweep the road, and sent Captain Wilson and Lieutenant Howard to strengthen the reserve and have the line fall back as fast as the infantry line did. Captain Wilson found the cavalry picket-line unmoved in the fog and drew it back some 300 yards on the left, and fearing to lose the howitzer ordered Lieutenant Hughes, commanding it, to report to me, which, hearing