War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0258 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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leaving their muskets behind them in the trenches. During all this time I kept up a left oblique fire and held my position until relieved, the officer informing me that we had again established communication with the Fifth Corps.

I have the honor to remain, lieutenant, your obedient servant,

MURTHA MURPHY,

First Lieutenant Company G, Sixty-ninth New York Vet. Vols.

Lieutenant J. C. FOLEY,

Acting Adjutant Sixty-ninth Regiment.

[Inclosure Numbers 4.]

HEADQUARTERS 111TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS,

October 31, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: In compliance with orders from brigade headquarters I have the honor to report what I know in regard to the capture of our pickets on the evening of October 30, 1864:

I was detailed as brigade officer of picket on the evening of October 27, and remained until the evening of the 30th of October, 1864. I visited the lines and gave instructions to the officers and men, and saw that the men were properly posted. Nothing unusual occurred until the evening of October 30, 1864, when our pickets and the rebels commenced talking across the lines. I immediately gave orders to have this stopped. Captain Myers commanded the left wing of the brigade picket, consisting of four commissioned officers and 173 enlisted men from the Sixty-ninth Regiment New York Volunteers, and four commissioned officers, including himself, and 157 enlisted men from the One hundred and eleventh Regiment New York Volunteers, the right resting on the ravine, and the left connecting with the Fifth Corps pickets. I ordered Captain Myers, commanding left wing of brigade pickets, and Captain Geddis, One hundred and twenty-sixth New York Volunteers, commanding right wing, to report to brigade headquarters, and there meet the officer of the day, and conduct the relief to our lines at dusk. My headquarters during the three days of my tour of duty were about 100 yards in rear of the picket-line, and while there awaiting the arrival of the relief, between the hours of 7 and 8 p.m. I heard the tramp of men and the rattling of canteens in the corner of the woods, on the left of the open field, and the low hum of voices as is usual with pickets while relieving. I had two orderlies with me from the Sixty-ninth Regiment New York Volunteers and I ordered one of them to go up and tell the officer of the day that I wished to see him. By this time the men had got half way across the open field, going toward the ravine. The orderly soon came running back and informed me that the pits were deserted and that he heard a noise in front of them which sounded like men crawling through the grass. I then sent one up on the left of the open field to strike the pits, and the other up on the right, and instructed them to follow the pits down and see if they could find any men in them, and I would ride out and see if I could find the relief to fill the pits in front of the open field, and to meet me there in about five minutes. I rode out of the woods for a short distance and could not see or hear any relief. I then rode back and met the orderlies, who reported the pits all deserted. I then rode back as rapidly as possible to Fort Hays and there met an officer of Brigadier-General Mott's staff. I told him our pickets were "gobbled" and that they had better get under