one, Colonel White, was captured. By this time a very large proportion of my men were either killed, wounded, or captured, and the enemy had possession of the pits north of the crater. Holding the remainder of the ground in conjunction with Generals Hartranft and Bartlett, and the fragments of regiments and scattered men, we sent for re-enforcements and instructions. Peremptory orders came to abandon the place, and while making arrangements to do so with the least loss the enemy were discovered advancing in force to make another assault. Not deeming it prudent to defend the place longer under those orders we withdrew.
Both officers and men behaved in the most gallant manner throughout, and no blame can be attached to any in my brigade. All were anxious to succeed, and were animated with a spirit of determination and devotion, and did all that could be done to insure success, and, when success failed, to prevent disaster.
Inclosed you will find a list of the casualties of the day.*
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. G. GRIFFIN,
Captain SAMUEL WRIGHT,
Asst. Adjt. General, Second Division, Ninth Army Corps.
No. 194. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Cummings, Seventeenth Vermont Infantry, of operations June 12-July 30.
IN THE FIELD,
Near Petersburg, June 20, 1864.
SIR: The Ninth Army Corps left their intrenchments near Cold Harbor at dark on the night of the 12th and with but four hours' sleep arrived near James River on the night of the 14th. We here halted until 8 p.m. of the following day, when we moved toward the river, crossing at 11 p.m.
At noon of the 16th we reached the present battle-ground, after a march of twenty-two miles, during which our ranks were rapidly depleted from hard marching on very short rations. At 6 p.m. the Second Brigade, Second Division, was drawn up in line of battle in support of a portion of the Second Corps, then about to make a charge. This charge proving unsuccessful we were moved around on the right flank to hold ground wrested from the enemy by Birney's division, of the same corps. In the night it was determined to assault the enemy's position on the center, where a battery, supported by strong rifle-pits, was protected by a house and outbuildings and supported by a six-gun redoubt a little way toward our left, and at a point where the enemy's line turned nearly a right angle. This assault was confided to the Second Division, Ninth Army Corps, and Frank's (formerly Owen's) brigade, of the Second Corps. When the time came for the assault, however, the Second Division alone had the work to do. Accordingly three regiments of the First Brigade, supported by the other three, were assigned to the easterly side of the angle and the same disposition of the Second Brigade was made on the northerly side.
*Embodied in return of casualties, p.247.