to move forward in support, if necessity required. On the left Colonel Bell was to have supported the principal assaulting column by engaging the enemy from the advantageous position he occupied on the ridge at the point of woods, which enabled him to deliver a plunging fire upon nearly the entire front upon which Colonel Barton was to approach. The principal element in this attack, and upon which was based the great anticipation of success, was a surprise. This was, unfortunately, frustrated by a lamentable error in judgment of the commander of the assaulting column, who, in filing out of the intrenchments near the woods in his front, for the purpose of forming his lines, so misjudged as to select a point for crossing the intrenchments within full view of the enemy's line. This disclosure of our project drew upon Colonel Barton's half-formed lines a sharp fire from the enemy in front, and put a stop for a time to the formation of the troops for assault. Upon the enemy opening upon Colonel Barton I immediately ordered Colonel Bell to commence his attack, hoping to divert the enemy from Colonel Barton, and enable him to form his troops. Colonel Bell promptly responded and pushed his troops in, which had the desired effect of relieving Colonel Barton, but at 5.20 Colonel Barton's troops still not being in order for moving forward, and the enemy at this time having been apprised some thirty-five minutes of our movement, and attracted by the spirited engagement of Colonel Bell, had advanced some troops upon this officer, and it being reported to me that he had sent some men into his lines in front of Colonel Barton, I saw that all hopes of a sunrise was over, and it being the principal element of success, I acted upon the discretion left me by the major-general commanding, and withdrew from the attack. Colonel Bell gained some ground, which we now hold. Colonel Bell and Colonel Curtis both carried out their instructions fully and promptly. I inclose these officers' reports. Colonel Barton has not sent his in yet. My casualties since my arrival on the morning of the 24th have been 12 officers, 262 non-commissioned officers and privates; in the affair of yesterday, loss included in the above figures, was 185.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JNumbers W. TURNER,
Lieutenant Colonel N. BOWEN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Eighteenth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, TENTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, Va., August 5, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part the Second Division, Tenth Army Corps, took in the engagement of the 30th instant [ultimo] before Petersburg:
In obedience to orders from Major-General Ord and instructions received from Major-General Burnside, I moved my division during the night of the 29th of July to a point on the front of the Ninth Corps, where the covered way leading to the advanced line commences. I was here to hold my division in hand till I received further orders, which I might expect as soon as the mine was sprung and the assault made. A few minutes after this event happened, feeling the importance of being close at hand, I moved the head of my column a short distance down the covered way, where I halted for orders and the de-