allowed it to be reformed in three-quarters of an hour. But very few stragglers were in the rear and the troops were well organized. After lying in the rear about one hour we were again placed in position on the front lines, our left connecting on the right of the Seventh U. S. Colored Infantry. While in this position the enemy made a demonstration on our right flank, which compelled us to refuse a portion of the brigade on the right, consisting of the Eighty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, after which they were repulsed. We remained in this position until late in the evening of the 16th, during which time a line of earth-works was constructed in rear of our lines. After they were completed, our line was withdrawn from the advanced position and occupied the line of earth-works that had been prepared for us. In the meantime the First U. S. Sharpshooters had been relieved from the skirmish line on the flank, and ordered to report to headquarters Tenth Corps for special duty. The Fifth Michigan Volunteers and the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery remained on the skirmish line and the remainder of the brigade occupied the front line of earth-works until the morning of the 17th, when the brigade was relieved from duty with the Tenth Corps and ordered to rejoin our division.
To more fully set forth our conduct while attached to the Tenth Corps I herewith subjoin a copy of an order issued at headquarters Second Division, Tenth Corps, at the time of being relieved:
ORDERS.] HEADQUARTERS BIRNEY'S DIVISION, TENTH ARMY CORPS,
August 17, 1864.
In accordance with orders from corps headquarters the Second Brigade, Third Division, Second Army Corps, is hereby from duty with this division and will report to its own division commander for duty. The brigadier-general commanding cannot part with this brigade without testifying to his high sense of its gallantry on the field while under his command. He was an eye-witness of its stand in the rebel works, which was worthy of its old reputation for hard fighting.
By order of Brigadier-General Birney:
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
The brigade rejoined the Third Division, Second Corps, in the afternoon of the 17th instant, and massed in column by regiments, where we remained until the evening of the 18th, when we were conducted to the north side of James River, en route for the vicinity of Petersburg, at which place we arrived on the 19th. Here our troops were placed in position (mostly on picket) in the front lines, connecting on our right with the First Brigade, Third Division, and on our left with the troops of the Fifth Corps.
I cannot close the report without personally mentioning the officers of the staff of this brigade. I find, too, that not only one should be mentioned by name, but the whole of them who were so active during all the operations. The names of Captain F. E. Marble, acting assistant adjutant-general; Captain William H. Loyd, assistant inspector-general; Captain S. S. Hill, acting aide-de-camp, and Lieutenant S. D. Newcomb acting aide-de-camp, shall ever be remembered as very gentlemanly and efficient officers, who were conspicuous for their bravery by remaining in the most dangerous situations to attend to the welfare and prompt duties of the brigade.
I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Colonel, Commanding Brigade.
Major JOHN HANCOCK,
Asst. Adjt. General, Third Division, Second Army Corps.