War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0344 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS, October 8, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to forward the report of the movements of this division from the 1st to the 5th instant, inclusive.

Having been relieved from the forts and rifle-pits extending from Fort Morton to Fort Alexander Hays during the night before, the division was massed near the trestle bridge and in the woods in the rear of the Averny house. About 12 m. on the 1st instant I received orders from the major-general commanding the Second Corps, that I, with my division, would take the cars to the Yellow House of General Warren's headquarters, there procuring a guide, would march to the vicinity of the Ninth Corps, reporting to Major-General Parke. At 1 p.m. the cars being ready I commenced to embark at two points, viz: Hancock's Station and near the trestle bridge. There were three trains and each train made three trips. The head of the column reported to General Parke at 2.30 p.m.; the rear was up at 5 p.m. I with my staff reported at 4 p.m., having remained to superintend the embarkation. The march from the railroad terminus to the headquarters Ninth Corps was severe owing to its raining very had and the muddy condition of the roads. My division was massed in the rear of the Peebles house and remained until next morning.

On Sunday, the 2nd, having received orders from the major-general commanding the Ninth Corps to be in readiness to move at 5.30 a.m., and to report in person at 6 a.m. to his headquarters, my command was ready at said time, and I reported accordingly. The orders I Ninth Corps, and to advance with said division, keeping up the connection on my right, and to keep a good lookout for my left flank. At 8 a.m. I deployed the Second Brigade (General Pierce) on the left of General Willcox's division, with skirmishers well thrown out, followed closely by the Third Brigade (Colonel McAllister), with instructions to deploy as soon as the movement commenced and the nature of the ground would admit, the First Brigade (General De Trobriand) in reserve, with instructions to throw out flankers and to leave a regiment at the point where the roads forked near the Clements house. Advancing a mile, I came upon a line of the enemy's works, which was carried at once, the enemy making but little resistance. After taking this line of works I advanced about a mile, driving the enemy's skirmishers, when I came upon a second and stronger line of works. These works were manned by infantry and artillery. After skirmishing with the enemy for some little time, I received orders from General Parke to develop the force and ascertain how much of the enemy were in the position. I immediately ordered General Pierce to carry out the order, which he did by advancing the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, One hundred and fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, One hundred and forty-first Pennsylvania Volunteers, and the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, with the First U. S. Sharpshooters on the right flank. I also instructed Colonel McAllister to move a regiment of his brigade to the left of the position occupied by the battery, and when the attack was made by General Pierce to open a severe fire upon the battery, in order to draw part of the fire and relieve the attacking column as much as possible. At 3 p.m. the line was ordered forward, when it charged most gallantly to within a few rods of the work under a concentrated fire from musketry and artillery. At 3.10 p.m. I received a communication from Major-General Parke saying that he had just seen Major-General Meade, who did not wish me to run any great risk, but to take