War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0294 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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attacked my line, the men again shifting to the inside of the parapet. Besides the fire from the front, which, however, was very feeble, they were subjected to a heavy artillery and musketry fire from the right flank, where the enemy turned our own guns upon us. The men soon gave way in great confusion and gave up the breast-works almost without resistance, and were partially rallied in the woods behind the right wing. The result of this action was a source of great mortification to me, as I am confident but for the bad conduct of my division the battle would have terminated in our favor, even after the enemy had broken through General Miles' line. I can only account for the unsteadiness shown by my men by the fact that so many of my very best officers and men have been lost on this campaign, that the command is in a great measure disorganized. The members of my staff were with me on the field and aided me much in restoring order.

I am, captain, respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN GIBBON,

Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding Division.

Captain W. P. WILSON,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Corps.

HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, SECOND CORPS,

November 6, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to report that last night about 11.30 o'clock my picket-line in front of Fort Haskell was attacked. That part of it on the other side of the pond was evidently surprised and 32 men captured. The water in the pond is found this morning to be above the foot bridge on which our men were in the habit of crossing. Our line is now established on this edge of the pond in old rifle-pits about twenty-yards this side the old line, will be further strengthened to-night. The line could only be re-established at night, but I do not consider it advisable to do this, because the line was originally defective, and to put it in the same place would only subject us to a similar attack hereafter.

I am sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOHN GIBBON,

Major-General of Volunteers, Commanding Division.

Major S. CARNCROSS,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Second Corps.

[Indorsement.]

HEADQUARTERS SECOND CORPS,

November 8, 1864.

Respectfully forwarded.

It was intended long since to withdraw that part of the picket in front of the pond, as it was found that the enemy were damming up the water. It was not done, as I was reluctant to give up the ground, and I ordered before the late move that bridges should be built across this pond. But there have been so many changes on the line and so much inattention on the part of officers that it was neglected. I do not now think it advisable to re-occupy the old line as it is of no particular advantage and is much exposed. Its loss was not known till daylight by me, and it would have been a very difficult matter to re-establish that part of the line.

WINF'D S. HANCOCK,

Major-General, Commanding.