Numbers 48. Report of Brigadier General Thomas W. Egan, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division of operations October 26-28.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND DIVISION, SECOND CORPS,
October 31, 1864.
MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements and actions of the Second Division, Second Army Corps, under my command, during the recent operations:
In pursuance of circular from headquarters corps, dated October 25, I drew my division out of the front line at 2.30 a.m. on the 26th instant and placed them temporarily in rear of Fort Bross, on the rear line. At 2 p.m. on the 26th instant, in pursuance of circulars from headquarters corps, dated October 25 and 26, I took up the line of march, my command being supplied with six days' rations and the full amount of artillery and infantry ammunition. I followed the rear line of works, passed through them at the left flank of our fortifications, and bivouacked at Robertson's house on the Halifax road. I moved from Robertson's house at 3.30 a.m. on the 27th; my troops marched in this order, viz: General Smyth in advance, commanding the Third Brigade, Colonel James M. Willett followed, commanding Second Brigade and Lieutenant Colonel Horace P. Rugg marched in the rear with the First Brigade, A squadron of the Sixth Ohio Cavalry preceded the whole, and Lieutenant W. Butler Beck's battery, composed of Companies C and I, Fifth U. S. Artillery marched between the brigades of Colonel Willett and Colonel Rugg. I followed the Halifax road about half a mile and then took the Church road to the right. This road struck the Vaughan road at about two miles from the Halifax road. At daybreak, just after reaching the Vaughan road, a cavalry vedette of the enemy's who was posted at a house about 200 yards to the left, fired upon my skirmishers. I at once ordered forward Lieutenant Colonel Frank J. Spalter, of the Fourth Ohio Battalion, with his battalion, and the Seventh Virginia Regiment deployed as skirmishers. Lieutenant-Colonel Spalter advanced rapidly for two miles, and finally met the enemy, who were entrenched on the farther bank of Hatcher's Run, where it crosses the Vaughan road. Lieutenant-Colonel Spalter, dashed at the enemy, but was killed at the first onset. His skirmishers were unable to carry the entrenchments, but pressed up within thirty yards and engaged the enemy until my main body arrived. I then ordered General Smyth to deploy his brigade across the road, and formed a second line in his rear with the brigades of Willett and Rugg. Willett on the right and Rugg on the left of the road. I then at once drove out the enemy, and took his camp and a few prisoners. The enemy here was a detachment of Young's cavalry brigade, commanded by Major Farley, of Georgia, whom prisoners reported mortally wounded. I reformed General Smyth's brigade on the late rebel side of the entrenchments, strengthened my skirmish line and pushed it one out the Vaughan road. I then reformed my division across Hatcher's Run, and moved to the right by the flank on the telegraph road, Lieutenant-Colonel Rugg in advance, followed by Colonel Willett, and General Smyth in the rear, he having been relieved by a brigade of the Third Division.
At about 8.30 a.m., at a point where the telegraph road again strikes Hatcher's Run, I deployed Lieutenant-Colonel Rugg's brigade across the road in line, and pushed my skirmishers across the run, but met no enemy. Then I again advanced in column in the same order, Lieuten-