War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0579 Chapter LII. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

far as possible, occupying that part of the enemy's work not blown up. The length of this part was about ninety feet, and contained two guns, which were partially covered with dirt by the explosion. I immediately ordered the dirt to be removed from the guns, which were afterward served by men from the Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery and men of my command, under the direction of Sergt. W. Stanley, of the Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery. The regimental organizations were more or less broken up by reason of the irregularity of the surface of the crater, the mass of troops, and the enfilading fire of the enemy from the right and left by artillery and infantry. Repeated and most determined efforts were made by the commanding officers and officers of my staff to form the troops for farther advance, but without success. The captured gun on the left was fired to the left along the line of the enemy's pits with some effect. The colored troops now advanced through the crater, passing to the right, and formed line for advance, when the enemy charged the colored troops as well as the pits previously occupied by the white troops, and our troops on the right gave way. The enemy soon reoccupied his pits to the right of the crater. In this attack of the enemy he suffered severely from the right captured gun by Stanley, who gave them canister. Soon after the enemy made another assault in one line of about 500 strong, heading for the crater, and coming direct from the front. My men gallantly mounted the works and poured their shot into their line, which, together with the canister given them by Sergeant Stanley, almost annihilated the column, so that but few of the enemy came up, and they only for protection. The ammunition was now about expended, but the want was soon supplied upon reporting to the general commanding the division. The men were now fast becoming exhausted, and the wounded were suffering for want of water; but little was procured, the enemy's sharpshooters having full command of the ground between the crater and our first line of works. At about 12.30 p.m. an order was received from General Burnside to retire as soon as practicable and prudent, the commanding officers on the line to counsel and determine as to the time of evacuation. The order was indorsed by Brigadier-Generals Bartlett, Griffin, and myself, and sent back to Major-General Burnside. It was thought impossible to withdraw the troops without great slaughter, the enemy enfilading the ground across which the troops would have to pass with artillery and infantry.

While we were awaiting further instructions the enemy made another attack, bearing immediately upon the work occupied by my men. As soon as I discovered this I passed the word to retire, but the men did not all have time to make their escape. Lieutenant Bean, one of my staff officers, communicated with General Bartlett in the crater, that the order was to retire, and that the left was then falling back.

It is with deep regret that I have to announce the death of Sergt. W. Stanley, Company D, Fourteenth New York Heavy Artillery, who volunteered to work the captured guns, and performed his duty well to the last. I deem it my duty to make honorable mention of the Twenty-seventh Michigan Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Wright commanding; One hundred and ninth New York Volunteers, Colonel Catlin, commanding; Thirty-seventh Wisconsin Volunteers, Colonel Harriman commanding; Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Volunteers, Captain Ferris commanding; Thirteenth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry (dismounted), Lieutenant-Colonel Hixon commanding; Eighth Michigan Veteran Volunteers, Major Belcher commanding; and the Fifty-first Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers, Colonel Bolton commanding. My loss in regimental