War of the Rebellion: Serial 081 Page 0415 Chapter LII. CORRESPONDENCE, ETC.-UNION.

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I am satisfied that the report of the prisoner is not true. The officer of the day's report for the day, showing the manner in which these prisoners were taken, is forwarded herewith.


Major-General, Commanding.

[Inclosure No. 1.]



Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Sixth Army Corps:

MAJOR: I have the honor to make the following report as corps officer of the day on the 23rd instant:

In the morning I was directed to deploy a line of skirmishers from near the left of the picket-line of the Third Division to the Petersburg and Gaston Railroad [where a detachment of sharpshooters under Captain Beattie then were] and with a body of pioneers to assist in cutting the road. I did so, and, protected on the south by a detachment of cavalry, some progress was made in destroying the road and wire. These were attacked early in the p.m., and were driven back. Meantime I had received orders to advance the picket-lines till they came up with the enemy or at least one mile from the lines. This movement commenced about 2 p.m. When the lines had advanced about half a mile from the original position the advance of the enemy on the railroad party was compelling them to withdraw, and I directed the lines to be halted, though they had not advanced quite as far as intended to be. A support of 200 men was brought out by Captain Long, assistant adjutant-general, Second Division, and placed in rear of that part of the line where an attack seemed most likely to be made. This force was strengthened by the railroad party, who joined them when driven inside the lines. The attack at this point was delayed. The enemy moved a column down the railroad, then filing to the left marched nearly parallel to the line of pickets of the Second Division [the general direction of which was nearly at right angles with the front line], their flankers keeping up an attack upon my line as they moved along its front on the road where they drove the cavalry in. [Do not what name this road bears, but leads to the Gurley house.] At this time it was evident the attack would [be] on or near this road. I sent for supports to headquarters. Two regiments arrived in time, the Sixty-second New York [I believe] and the Eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers. A vigorous attack was made on these two regiments [the right of the attacking column resting near the road] and they were driven back after a short struggle to hold the line. The enemy advanced into the grain-field near the Aiken house in two lines of battle, thus getting into the left rear of a portion of the Second Division line of pickets, which portion commenced to fall back by my order to keep the enemy from getting wholly in their rear. At this instant the enemy made an attack near the left of the Third Division line and broke through there also. This attack was also made in force and not by a skirmish line merely. Thus the enemy came in rear and cut off portions of both division lines, and the confusion sometimes occurring in such a situation prevailed here and some 400 officers and men were lost, perhaps a larger number; I have not time to ascertain before this report should be made.

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,


Lieutenant Colonel Third Vermont Vols. and Corps Officer of Day June 23.