War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0308 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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The day and night of the 19th it rained incessantly, and nothing of importance transpired in our immediate front, beyond that the enemy was observed to have strengthened his position. All quiet on the 20th, at dusk of which we received orders to retrace our steps toward Petersburg. The night very dark and a heavy rain falling contributed to make the march in the highest degree laborious. We crossed the last pontoon upon the Appomattox at midnight 20th-21st, and arrived in camp at 9 a.m. of the latter day.

Notwithstanding the small strength of the regiment, it performed a considerable share of the picket and fatigue duties of the expedition, and in the charge of the 14th, the majority being recruits who had not been under fire before, behaved in a manner which exceeded my expectation.

Respectfully submitted.

EDMUND RICE,

Lieutenant Colonel Nineteenth Massachusetts Volunteers, Commanding.

Lieutenant-Colonel RUGG,

Commanding First Brigade.

HDQRS. NINETEENTH MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS, In the Field,

August 28, 1864.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this regiment during the late operations on the Weldon railroad, near Reams' Station:

Upon our arrival at the railroad the regiment occupied for a short time the works upon the north side, when it was ordered out as skirmishers to protect the front of the remainder of the brigade, which was engaged in destroying in a more complete manner railroad property, &c., which had been but partially damaged. The regiment was called in toward evening and with the brigade occupied for the night the works on south side of the road. On the morning of the 25th this command in the brigade laid for some time in a corn-field near the road, whence we moved down the road to support skirmishers, which had become hotly engaged with those of the enemy, and also were in support of a battery which lay upon our left point, and which was engaged with some of the enemy's artillery. We were withdrawn from here early in the afternoon, and making a detour through the field before alluded to, arrived in rear of the First Division (which occupied the works herein first mentioned) and laid in close support. The enemy charged at this time, and were handsomely repulsed. About 3 p.m. we were detached from the brigade and occupied some very slight works upon the rise of the hill, in rear of the corn-field, in easy fire of the enemy's musketry and in full view of his artillery. The latter was not slow to take advantage of this and opened on us with his guns, and for some time this regiment was under a terrific shower of shell and solid shot, which, together with the enemy's musketry, compelled us to lie close. At this time the right of the troops occupying the front line of works was flanked and driven in with great confusion, and this regiment, under the impression that the brigade was about to charge and endeavor to turn the fortunes of the day, advanced toward the enemy on the double under a galling cross-fire, but observing that my command alone had charged, I halted and re-formed them behind a couple of houses, and we returned and took our place in the brigade. The enemy had by this