War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0360 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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Mitchell, as reported to me) had led the most of the First Maine Heavy Artillery and of the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania, which rushing forward succeeded in saving two pieces of artillery from the hands of the enemy, in capturing one rebel battle-flag (which, however, in one way or other, passed afterward in the hands of a sergeant of the Seventeenth Michigan), and in securing a number of prisoners, which cannot be estimated less than 150, the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania alone claiming about 100 taken in a clump of pine trees, independently of those captured in and around the barn by the First Maine Heavy Artillery and the three other regiments. I beg respectfully to insist upon these details, as some erroneous reports were made about that part of our attack, the exact truth of which I only ascertained afterward. So the credit due to the First Maine Heavy Artillery was wrongly attributed to the Seventeenth Maine, the only one of my regiments which was not seriously engaged with the enemy. And again the exclusive credit of the capture of prisoners and recapture of guns was awarded to the First Maine Heavy Artillery, while a large portion of the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania had a good share, if not the largest share in it.

To return to the right wing: The enemy driven away by our charge from the open field retreated through the woods, threatening for a moment the right flank of my regiments engaged, but having been ordered by brevet major-general commanding division to fall back and resume the line which we had formed before our repulse of the advancing foe, the enemy disappeared gradually from our front and abandoned any further attack on that point. Not so on our left, which was now protected only by the four regiments mentioned above and forming a picket-line on the edge of a dense pine wood. The enemy posted on the opposite side of a large open ground, resolved to drive them and to find what was behind. They advanced, therefore, with great determination through the field, but although some points of our line were at first thrown in some confusion the exertions of officers and steadiness of the veteran soldiers succeeded in rallying the new men, and finally the rebels were repulsed at all points and fell back to their previous position baffled in their attempt. So the pickets held their ground until after dark, when by want of instructions two of the regiments, deprived of their commanding and field officers wounded, misunderstood an order to keep a close connection on their right, and reformed in line in that direction. Even there the communication had become so extremely difficult through the woods in consequence of the condition of the weather and darkness of the night that it was deemed impossible to re-establish the line, which in my opinion was rather fortunate, as it is most doubtful if we would have succeeded in bringing it back safely after the withdrawal of our main force. As it was a new line was formed along a road nearly parallel and much more accessible, which allowed me as general field officer of the day for the Second Corps to bring back during the night the whole of the pickets with the exception of three officers and twenty-six men from the Seventy-third New York. These, according to all probabilities, having not followed the first movement of the balance of the line lost their way in the woods and were captured during the night, an occurrence which repeatedly took place among the enemy's as well as among our own men during that evening, several on both sides having been captured, who soon escaped in the dark. On the early morning of the 28th I reported with the rear to Major-General Hancock, who ordered me to join the division at Davis' house, which was promptly done.