War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0218 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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ing one line held by the enemy's dismounted cavalry and finally assaulting near Fussell's Mill with one brigade of the Second Division, when I expected him to attack with the greater portion of two divisions. His report, herewith inclosed, reflects little credit on the troops, showing that he made several unsuccessful attempts on the enemy's line, but I must say that had they been kept more compact they ought to have broken through the line, then thinly held, by mere weight of numbers, and thus have opened a way for General Mott. General Barlow's example to the troops was all that could be expected or desired from his well-known gallantry and devotion to duty. I attribute the lack of cohesion in the troops, as set forth in General Barlow's report, to the large number of new men in the command and the small number of experienced officers. General Barlow's main assault was not made until about 4 p. m. and night punt an end to further operations, my expectations having been considerably disappointed. On General Birney's front, on the other side of Bailey's Creek, we had gained some success. The enemy weakened their line at that point to such an extent to resist General Barlow's advance, which was always strongly threatening, that General Birney was enabled to seize a part of their line with trifling loss, capturing at the same time four guns (8-inch howitzers), three of which were brought off by General Birney, and one secured on the following day by the exertions of General Mott.

The cavalry covered my right flank, advancing well up the Charles City road, driving the enemy from a line of rifle-pits constructed by them during the campaign of 1862. At night a picket-line was established from this advanced position to General Barlow's right, and one from General Birney's position to connect with General Mott. During the night the greater portion of General Birney's, command was massed in rear of the position occupied by General Barlow, and dispositions were made for an attack on the following morning. The line from the New Market and Malvern Hill road at the point designated on the map as the Potteries, to the extreme right was held by a thin skirmish line only. One of General Mott's best brigades, under command of Colonel Craig, One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was sent to General Birney. The remainder of Mott's division was massed in rear of his picket-line, except a small force left at the Potteries. Gibbon's division, commanded by Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Smyth in the absence of General Gibbon, was also massed in rear of the skirmish line, and Barlow's division was concentrated near the fork of the Darby and Long Bridge roads. With his own corps and the brigade of Mott's division, Major-General Birney was directed to find the enemy's left and turn it; or, failing in this, to attack if a suitable place could be found. The cavalry under General Gregg covered the movement on the right. General Birney moved out between the Central and Charles City road and met no large force. General Gregg was skirmishing with the enemy on the Charles City road, and General Birney engaged a part of the same force. It was my expectation that General Birney would have conducted his operations considerably more to his left, where the enemy's line was supposed to be. At 6.40 p. m. he sent me a dispatch saying that he had found the enemy's line, but that the country was unfavorable for a night attack, and that he would therefore assault in the morning, with my permission. Another day thus passed without accomplish anything commensurate with my wishes.