War of the Rebellion: Serial 068 Page 0251 Chapter XLVIII. SOUTH SIDE OF THE JAMES.

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Numbers 100. Reports of Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, C. S. Army, commanding brigade, of operations May 6-16.


Near Drewry's Bluff, Va., May 13, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the operations of my brigade in front of Petersburg:

On the 6th instant the Twenty-first Regiment and three companies of the Twenty-fifth, under Major Glover, the whole under Colonel Graham, of the Twenty-first, arrived at Port Walthall Junction, upon which the enemy were then advancing, and in a very short time were engaged. Colonel Graham formed his line east of the railroad, at a distance of some 300 yards and parallel to it. His position was well chosen in a sunken road, with his left resting upon a ravine and his right upon a wood. He succeeded in repulsing a considerably larger force than his own, accompanied by two pieces of artillery. From information received from prisoners the enemy were supposed to have been Heckman's brigade. Our troops, both officers and men, must have behaved with distinguished gallantry, and I beg leave respectfully to refer for particulars to the report of Colonel Graham, inclosed.

At dark on that night I arrived at Petersburg, with the balance of the Twenty-fifth Regiment, and marched immediately from the cars to re-enforce Colonel Graham. The Twenty-seventh arrived a little later and followed, the whole arriving at Port Walthall Junction before day. I found Brigadier-General Johnson also at that pint with some 800 muskets. He informed me that hearing the firing of Graham's action he had marched from the direction of Drewry's bluff to re-enforce him, arriving after the repulse of the enemy. The general ranking me, I reported to him for orders. When day broke it was discovered that the enemy had in the night retired from our front. I was ordered to take my three regiments and advance to fell for him. At 10 a. m. I moved and found his line of pickets about 1 1\2 miles on our left front. The morning was spent in maneuvering and skirmishing, and finally the pressing of the enemy indicating an advance, I fell back, under orders, to the railroad, my left resting on the crossing of the turnpike and railroad, General Johnson's men on my right upon the railroad, and the Twenty-first Regiment in reserve in rear of my center and upon the turnpike. the enemy appeared at 2 p. m. in two lines of battle with skirmishers well thrown out and warmly engaged us. His line was oblique to mine and tending to overlap my left. After some half hour's fighting his second line was moved under cover of an intervening wood by right and appeared within musket-range, approaching square upon my left, the left of this force being upon the prolongation of my left. The Twenty-first Regiment had been ordered up into line upon my left in the beginning of the fight, and I was now compelled under a cross-fire from two brigades to change my front. This necessitated great exposure of officers in effecting, but was happily done, the lives of some of the best and bravest of my command, of all grades, paying for its accomplishment.

Soon after my new line was taken I ordered an advance, and the flanking brigade was driven back, not again reappearing in that direction. My men now regained the railroad, their right, however, rest-