War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0227 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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the troops of Gibbon's division to assist in this operation, but the commanders reported that their men could not be brought up to the advance. The enemy's dismounted cavalry now made an attack on the left, driving General Gibbon's division from its breast-works. This division offered very little resistance, though the attack was feeble compared with that of the enemy's infantry, and the enemy, elated at their easy success at this point, were pressing on with loud cheers when they were met by a heavy flank fire from the dismounted cavalry, occupying the extreme left, and their advance summarily checked. General Gregg, with his own command and one regiment and a squadron from Colonel Spear's command, rendered invaluable services at this point, and the steadiness of his men contrasted more than favorably with the conduct of some of the infantry commands. The enemy turned their attention now to General Gregg's command, which was not able to hold its position after General Gibbon's division had fallen back, and accordingly the cavalry was withdrawn by him and formed on the left of the new line which General Gibbon's division had fallen back, and accordingly the cavalry was withdrawn by him and formed on the left of the new line which General Gibbon had succeeded in forming a short distance in the rear of the rifle-pits. Woerner's battery, First New Jersey Artillery, rendered efficient service during and after this attack. With the aid of this battery and the troops under General Miles the road running to the plank road was held until dark, the enemy being checked in every attempt to advance beyond that part of the line they had captured. A part of the captured guns were held by the enemy's skirmishers, and General Miles succeeded in recapturing one, drawing it from the field to the wood within our lines. Owing to some failure to make it known that the piece had been recovered it was unfortunately abandoned when the troops withdrew, making a total of nine guns lost during the action. At this time General Miles and General Gregg offered to retake their breast-works entire, but General Gibbon stated that his division could not retake any of his line. It being necessary to reoccupy the lost works to protect the only communication then open to the rear, and no reenforcements having arrived, the troops were ordered to withdraw at dark, General Miles covering the rear. General Willcox's division was formed about one mile and a half in rear of the field, and after the troops had passed became a rear guard. This command, with the one under Colonel McAllister, on the plank road, withdrew during the night, returning to their respective camps. The troops of my own corps went into camp about midnight near the Williams house. The cavalry under General Gregg held the plank road and the country between the plank road and General Warren's left. The enemy made on attempt to follow up their advantage, except to throw out a small force of cavalry on the morning of the 26th to pick up stragglers.

Had my troops behaved as well as heretofore, I would have been able to defeat the enemy on this occasion. A force sent down the railroad to attack the enemy in flank would have accomplished the same end, or a small reserve in the field about 6 p. m. I attribute the bad conduct of some of my troops to their great fatigue, owing to the heavy labor exacted of them and to their enormous losses during the campaign, especially in officers. The lack of the corps in this respect is painfully great and one hardly to be remedied during active operations. The Seventh, Fifty-second, and Thirty-ninth New York are largely made up of recruits and substitutes. The first-named regiment in particular is entirely new, companies being formed in New York and sent down here, some officers being unable to speak English. The material compares very unfavorably with the veterans absent.