War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0298 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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three attacks upon each of my fronts. On Lieutenant-Colonel Rugg's former front (on the left of the Boydton road and extending from the Burgess house to a point of woods) they were held completely in check by a heavy skirmish line, composed of the Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania, Seventh Michigan, Nineteenth Massachusetts, and First Minnesota Battalion. These troops deserve great credit. General Smyth and Colonel Willett repulsed the attacks upon their fronts with ease, although they were attacked with equal vehemence. The command was formed during these attacks on three sides of a square, General Smyth holding the extreme left, Colonel Willitt on his right, and Lieutenant-Colonel Rugg on the right of Willett, partially extending behind McAllister's line, whose right (lately his left) crossed the Boydton road. Another assault was made upon us at about 5.30 p.m. which was easily repulsed. This ended the main action. An attack was made in some force upon General Smyth's front at about 8 p.m. but like the rest it amounted to nothing. At about 10 p.m. I withdrew and marched back to Dabney's Mill, having orders to connect here with General Crawford, Major-General Hancock sending me his headquarters guard with which to do so. This guard reported to me at the front, but left without orders on the march to Dabney's Mill. On arriving there they were not to be found. At 6 a.m. on the 28th a staff officer of Major-General Warren brought information that General Crawford had retired across Hatcher's Run. I was ordered to report to Major-General Warren, which I did at about 7 a.m., massing across Hatcher's Run, near Armstrong's Mill, where I awaited orders from Major-General Hancock. At 10 a.m. I received orders from Major-General Warren to withdraw. Retreating by the line of advance, I reached Fort Bross in the evening. During all of this movement General Smyth gave me hearty support. He was the life of my command and always displayed tact and coolness. I call attention to his favorable mention of the Eighth New York Heavy Artillery and One hundred and sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, and of Lieutenant Cowtan, adjutant Tenth New York, and his squad of six men of the same regiment. Lieutenant Cowtan, gave me, through General Smyth, timely notice of the approach of a rebel column threatening the rear. This enabled me so to dispose McAllister's brigade as to gobble those who were moving to gobble me. The results of Colonel McAllister's gallantry speak for themselves. He and his command have my hearty thanks.

Colonel Willett, commanding Second Brigade, Second Division, is entitled to great credit. No troops could have better than his combined steadiness with dash or have been better led. A party of the One hundred and sixty-fourth New York Volunteers, under Captain T. J. Burke, captured a gun, limber, and caisson, bringing off the caisson and destroying the gun, carriage and limber from want of drag ropes.

Major and Bvt. Lieutenant Colonel W. G. Mitchell of Major-General Hancock's staff, first accompanied Colonel McAllister in the charge which cleared my right flank, and then returned and took the Thirty-sixth Wisconsin and charged down the Boydton road on a body of rebels who had reached my rear. This regiment captured or dispersed the whole, taking colors and officers. Lieutenant-Colonel Mitchell was with me through everything.

Lieutenant W. Butler Beck, commanding companies C and I, Fifth U. S. Artillery, with six guns silenced every rebel battery brought to bear upon us during the action, using every round of his ammunition. His doses of canister effectually helped in repelling close assaults. I rec-