Numbers 92. Report of Colonel Robert McAllister, Eleventh New Jersey Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations July 26-29.
HDQRS. THIRD Brigadier, THIRD DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS, October 7, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders relative to the movements and operations of this brigade in our advance across the James River on the 27th of July, 1864, I have the honor to report as follows:
July 26, broke camp at 4 p. m. At 10.30 p. m. arrived at and crossed the Appomattox River. Reached the James River at dawn of day July 27, crossed on the lower pontoon bridge, and went into position in a piece of woods in front of General Foster's command. Remained under a shell fire for a short time, when I was ordered to deploy my brigade and advance through the corn-field in front. On reaching the road leading to the Malvern Hill halted; ordered to mass my brigade and wait further orders. Late in the evening ordered to move in front of the enemy's work on Strawberry Plains. Threw out the pickets and remained all night. July 28, remained in this position until late in the afternoon; ordered back along the old rebel works captured the day before, and commenced turning these works for defense. 8 p. m., orders to suspend operations and be ready to move; 8.30 p. m. moved out, recrossed the river, and by a rapid and hard march we arrived before daylight in rear of the Eighteenth Corps and bivouacked.
The only casualty that occurred in the movement was 1 enlisted man killed, in the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.
Captain J. P. FINKELMEIER,
Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Second Army Corps.
HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., 2nd ARMY CORPS, June 25, 1864.
Lieutenant WILLIAM P. SHREVE,
Asst. Com. of Mus. and Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, Third Div.:
LIEUTENANT: In accordance with your order asking an explanation of the cause of our falling back, and also of heavy losses on the 22nd when the enemy turned our left flank, permit me to make the following statement: That morning, after having finished the first line of breast-works, I was ordered to move forward and form my line on the left of General Gibbon, connected on him, or rather took up the position pointed out to me the evening previous. This order I obeyed promptly, and on arriving on the ground pushed forward the First Massachusetts Regiment to connect with General Gibbon's left, throwing our left considerably forward on a knoll. But the enemy's sharpshooters picket off our men so rapidly that it was necessary to throw our left back for the present and to defer the knoll line until night. This I did; at the same time I was ordered by General Mott to keep the balance of my brigade under cover until further orders. This I did, when I was ordered to form my lines as far to the front as I could without exposing my men