HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, SECOND DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS, October 28, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of operations of this command from the 26th to 28th instant:
At 2 p.m. on the afternoon of the 26th we left camp, in the rear of Fort Bross, and moved to the Vaughan house, on the Weldon railroad, where we bivouacked for the night. The next morning, at 3.30 o'clock we moved out in the direction of the Boydton plank road, first meeting the enemy at Hatcher's Run, but as they were driven from this position by the Third Brigade, the First Brigade was not engaged. From this point we took the advance, driving the enemy to the Boydton plank road. At this point we formed line of battle across the road, but before getting into position we were opened upon from a battery of the enemy, which was soon after silenced by Beck's battery (C and I), Fifth U. S. Artillery. From this point we advanced in line of battle and took up a position on the left of the plank road, extending from the Burgess house, connecting with the Second Brigade on the right, to a ravine on the left, which was not connected but was protected by the First Minnesota Battalion and Seventh Michigan Volunteers, which I deployed to cover our flank and rear. While in this position the enemy opened upon us from the left with a battery of rifle guns, which enfiladed our lines, and continued firing from them during the remainder of the day, killing and wounding many of our men. Our skirmish line in front was continually engaged with the enemy's lines and at one time was driven by him. We held this position until after the assault by the enemy was made. While in this position the enemy succeeded in obtaining possession of the plank road in our rear, severing for the time our communications, when Major Mitchell, of General Hancock's staff, charged down the road with the Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Regiment, capturing many prisoners and one color, as is shown by the special report, accompanying this, of Captain Fisk, commanding Thirty-sixth Wisconsin Regiment. Major Mitchell desired me to move my whole brigade in this charge, but I did not do it, for the following reasons: First, I had just received orders, by a staff officer from General Egan, to hold the position I was then in at all hazards; second, the enemy were continually threatening our left flank and front; third, the enemy on the road was not in force,but a disorganized body, and I considered that one good-sized regiment, charging down the road in line, would be as effectual as the whole brigade.
About 5 p.m. the brigade was moved to the extreme left of the second line, facing to the right and rear, and shortly afterward was again moved to the right and in rear of Colonel McAllister's brigade of the Third Division. When moving from our position on the left of the plank road I left the First Minnesota and Seventh Michigan Volunteers in their position in the wood on our left and rear, as they were continually picking up prisoners. After dark the command was moved down and formed in the plank road, connecting on the right with the Third Division, and on the left with Colonel McAllister's brigade, throwing out vedettes in front and rear. About 11 p.m. we left this position and moved off with the rest of the column, forming the rear guard. Halting the next morning about 4 o'clock in rear of the Second Division of the Fifth Corps, I received orders from in line of battle, connecting with the Second Brigade on the right and extending to the left. That brigade did not form line, but moved to the rear of the Fifth Corps. As they were the directing brigade I followed them and conformed myself to their movements. Shortly after daylight we took up the line of march (at the