War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0337 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

First Brigade skirmishers, leaving Lieutenant Gallager, of the One hundred and sixth Pennsylvania, in charge until my return. I met Captain Embler, of Second Division staff, on the skirmish line of the Twentieth Massachusetts and discovered that the enemy were erecting breastworks with fence rails. I then asked for volunteers from the Twentieth Massachusetts to drive the enemy from the rails. Some six or seven of them advanced with me on the run when the enemy fled to some barns which were on the top of a hill to our front and to the right of the plank road. The Second Brigade charged up the hill on the left of the barns and I endeavored to head off the enemy as they retreated to the right and across a wide sheet of water, where their horses awaited them. Here was stationed a piece of light artillery, which opened upon us, but without effect. I then returned to bring up my command, but was told by General Smyth that he had ordered them forward to the left of the road. Lieutenant Gallager had a portion of the men deployed as skirmishers, facing to the left, and had a battery forge belonging to the enemy in his possession, which was afterward to the rear. General Egan, commanding division, ordered me to advance with my left resting on a strip of woods, to the left of an open field, my right extending along the woods to the right of said field. I then brought up the reserve and deployed them on the right. As I advanced, the enemy's skirmishers were driven in, when I discovered the enemy in the act of running out a battery on my front. I communicated this to a staff officer of the First Brigade and requested him to report it to General Egan. I advanced, directing my fire on the enemy's battery which was returned with canister. When within 150 yards I halted and ordered my skirmishers to keep up fire on the battery until I could obtain more men. Finding that I had no connection on my right, I made application to the commanding officer of the First Brigade, who gave me one lieutenant and fifty men from the First Minnesota, who deployed on my right and formed a connection with some skirmishers on the Bydton road. I afterward discovered that my left was unprotected and again applied to the aforesaid officer, who sent a number of sharpshooters to make the necessary connection through the woods on my left. Just as my line was completed and protected as above stated, the enemy charged on my right center, where I was in possession of commissary and quartermaster stores belonging to the enemy, which I afterward destroyed, and were repulsed. About an hour afterward they charged again and were again repulsed. At this time the men were out of ammunition, and I endeavored to obtain a supply, but without success. I finally obtained a small quantity from wounded men on the road, which was equally divided amongst the men. I made application to Captain Embler for ammunition, but was informed that it was impossible to obtain any at that time; that I should, however, hold my position at the point of the bayonet. This, however, was unnecessary, as we were not again attacked by the enemy. They remained quiet when darkness had set in, and, after 1 o'clock at night, I was ordered to withdraw my line, and as all the other troops had left, I fell back upon the same road by which we had advanced. Before I had got under way it was after 2 o'clock, and about 4 o'clock in the morning of the 28th I overtook Major Tinen with the right wing of the regiment, when he took command.


Captain, Commanding Company G, Sixty-ninth Pennsylvania Vet. Vols.

Lieutenant A. W. McDERMOTT, Adjutant 69th Pennsylvania Infantry.