War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0291 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 45. Report of Major John W. Byron, Eighty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding Third Provisional Regiment, of operations August 14.


August 17, 1864.

CAPTAIN: In reply to a communication from headquarters First Division, directing me to make a written report explanatory of my alleged failure to comply with orders received from the brigadier-general commanding the division on the morning of August 14, 1864, I have the honor to submit the following:

On the morning in question, the brigade being on the march the regiment I have the honor to command was filed out of the line of march to the left of the road and formed in line of battle, under the personal supervision of the brigadier-general commanding the division, a pine wood partly covering my front and extending to the right. I was then ordered to charge and take the enemy's works, the general also stating that there was only a skirmish line behind them, and to advance with fixed bayonets and without firing. I at once, under a fire of musketry on my left flank and front, led my command forward. When we reached the wood above mentioned, which lay directly between us and the works, as my line obliqued to the right so as to bring the left of my command on the edge of the wood. Pausing a few moments to correct the alignment, I advanced at a double-quick and occupied the works, the enemy leaving them when I had arrived within about thirty paces. Having no supports on either, flank, I at once threw forward skirmishers over the captured works as far as the crest of the hill to cover my front and flanks, the balance of the command remaining in line at the works. Finding that the men were exposed to an enfilanding artillery fire I withdrew the line about fifteen yards in rear of and parallel to the works, and dispatched Adjutant Smith, commanding Sixty-ninth New York Volunteers, to report my position to Colonel Crandell and to ask for further instructions. I occupied this position until ordered by Colonel Crandell in person to join the balance of the brigade, which had advanced and formed line under the crest of the hill in my immediate front.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Major, Commanding Third Provisional Regiment.

Captain TRIPPE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Consolidated Brigade.

Numbers 46. Report of Colonel Thomas A. Smyth, First Delaware Infantry, commanding Second Division, of operations August 12-20.


August 21, 1864.

I have the honor to submit the following report of the action taken by the Second Division during the operations north of the James River from the dates of August 12 to August 20, inclusive, during which time I had the honor to command the division:

At noon August 12 I received an order from Major-General Hancock, commanding corps, to have my command in readiness to march at short notice, and about 2 p.m. another order was received to move