Early on the morning of July 27, in obedience to orders, the division, in conjunction with the remainder of the corps, pressed forward against the line of the enemy's rifle-pits, which covered the road running parallel to the river. The skirmish line of the division, consisting of regiments of Miles' brigade, advanced under a fire of musketry and artillery, and by a well executed movement drove the enemy from the rifle-pits in their, front, capturing four pieces of artillery. The enemy held the line weakly. Subsequently we advanced through the woods about one mile to the New Market road, and went on the river road to the deserted hotel. The woods were deep and thick, and the advance through them occupied some time. Beyond the New Market road and crossing it and the river road, the enemy occupied in considerable force a strong and commanding line of rifle-pits. Pressing a skirmish line as close as possible to this line, and made a reconnaissance with a view to discover, if possible, the left flank of the enemy's works and a suitable place for an attack, I could not find the point where the line ended on the enemy's left, and further operations were prevented by night-fall.
On July 28, the Second Division of the corps was engaged in maneuvering to attack the enemy's left, and the First Division held its lines, acting as a support or reserve to the Second Division. No operations of importance were executed by the division on the 29th, and at night, in obedience to orders, we withdrew to the line of the entrenchments on the river road. On the evening of that day i left the front upon leave of absence.
* * * * * *
FRANCIS C. BARLOW,
Brigadier-General of Volunteers.
[Captain WILLIAM P. WILSON,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]
Numbers 21. Report of Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of operations July 26-30.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
October 10, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this division from July 26 to 30:
At 4 p. m. of the 26th the command left camp near the Deserted House, marched to Point of Rocks, crossed the Appomattox at about 9 p. m., thence to the pontoon brigade across the James at Deep Bottom, and halted at about 4 a. m. of the 27th behind a grove at the edge of Strawberry Plains. At about 6 a. m. a line of skirmishers, consisting of the One hundred and eighty-third Pennsylvania, Twenty-eighth Massachusetts, and Twenty-sixth Michigan, under the command of Colonel J. C. Lynch, One hundred and eighty-third Pennsylvania, was advanced across the Plains, supported by the remainder of the division. This line advanced without indication of the enemy until within a short distance of the Long Bridge road, when it was met by a fire from a force partially entrenched in this road. A fire was kept up by this force from four 20-pounder Parrott guns, stationed in the road at the line of General Mott, which connected with the right of this division, and at the same time sharp skirmishing was kept up with this skirmish line, which was covered by a crest from the fire of the artillery. Colonel Lynch moved his line by the right flank around the flank of this force