War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0362 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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cotton, &c., do not afford ground for mentioning in particular anything else but the remarkable alacrity and skill of the men in their welcome work of devastation.

Respectfully submitted.


Brigadier-General of Volunteers, Commanding.


Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division.

Numbers 82. Report of Colonel John Pulford, Fifth Michigan Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations August 14-17.

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, THIRD DIV., SECOND ARMY CORPS, August 23, 1864.

MAJOR: In accordance with orders received from headquarters Third Division, Second Army Corps, dated August 21, 1864, I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the recent operations on the north side of James River:

The troops of this brigade arrived at Deep Bottom, Va., and disembarked at daybreak on the morning of the 14th instant. At about 10 o'clock the same morning we were moved a short distance across the plain from James River, and massed in column of regiments near a piece of woods, in which position we remained the rest of the day and the following night. On the 15th we were temporarily detached from our division and ordered to report to the Tenth Corps for duty. The brigade was attached to the Second Division, Tenth Corps, commanded by Brigadier General William Birney. We had no sooner halted after having reported than the brigade was ordered to make a reconnaissance to the extreme right of our position toward Charles City road, with instructions to "push on and reach the road if possible." At 2 p. m. the brigade was placed in position. The First U. S. Sharpshooters were deployed in front as skirmishers, while the line of battle consisted of the following-named regiments in the order given from right to left: Eighty-fourth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, First Regiment Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, and One hundred and fifth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers. This line was supported on either flank by the One hundred and forty-first Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers and Fifth Regiment Michigan Veteran Volunteers, respectively, massed in column by division, while the Ninety-third Regiment New York Volunteers was also massed in column by division behind the center of the line of battle. The Fifty-seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers was deployed as flankers to protect the left flank of the brigade, while the right flank was protected by cavalry. After these dispositions were made the skirmishers moved forward and engaged those of the enemy, who were deployed only a short distance in a piece of woods and one mile and a half from Charles City road. They were closely followed by the line of battle and supports and were driven back from their position to their line of battle, which, after a sharp engagement of short duration, was completely routed and we pursued them closely as far as Charles City road, where we took up a position in accordance with or instructions, and where we found them strongly intrenched about 800 yards distant