On the 23rd of July the Third Maryland and One hundred and seventy-ninth New York Regiments were transferred to Second Brigade, and the Twenty-ninth Massachusetts Regiment was assigned to the First Brigade. On the same day Brigadier General W. F. Bartlett relieved Colonel Gould of the command.
In the assault on July 30 the brigade followed the Second and entered the enemy's works, and after remaining in the fort some hours, and meeting with large losses, was forced to retire. Brigadier-General Bartlett was taken prisoner and the command of the Fifty-seventh Massachusetts, the commanding officer being a lieutenant, and an enlisted man at the commencement of the campaign, who has no papers by which he can obtain an account with any accuracy.
The commanding officer of the brigade would here take the opportunity to state that this report has been obtained with considerable difficulty, owing to so many different changes in brigade and regimental commanders.
I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JOS. H. BARNES,
Lieutenant Colonel 29th Mass. Vols., Commanding 1st Brigadier, 1st Div.,9th A. C.
Captain C. J. MILLS,
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., NINTH ARMY CORPS, Near Petersburg, Va., August 3, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In reporting the operations of this brigade in the action of July 30 I have the honor to state that it is extremely difficult to render a detailed report of operations as a brigade, for the reason that the general commanding the brigade in the action was captured, and his staff, with one exception, were killed, wounded, or captured; therefore, I can do little more than compile the reports of regimental commanders, which reports I have the honor to inclose herewith. The brigade moved from the front line of works occupied by the First Division about midnight, and marched through Willcox's covered way to a ravine immediately in rear of General Willcox's front line and opposite the point of attack. Here the brigade was formed in two lines, the Fifty-ninth, Fifty-seventh, and Twenty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers forming the first line, and the Twenty-first and Fifty-sixth Massachusetts and One hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers the second line, and the two lines thus formed in rear of the Second Brigade, First Division. The brigade remained in this position until the explosion of the mine, when it moved forward, following rapidly the Second Brigade and charging directly toward the ruins of the fort. As will be seen by the reports of the regimental commanders, the command upon entering the fort was somewhat disorganized and crowded, but effective measures were adopted to place the regiments in position, and the brigade was posted in the traverses and covered ways connected with the fort, and a portion of the brigade commenced protecting themselves from a very severe enfilading fire. Shortly after the Fourth Division of the corps entered the fort and formed their lines for an advance, but before they had accomplished anything the enemy made a decided attack, causing the Fourth Division to retire precipitately, and owing to the crowded condition of