War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0398 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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four men to a post, commanded by Captain James A. Hyde, One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers, senior officer; Captain J. K. Holmes, brigade officer of the day. Between 11 and 12 p. m. the enemy charged on the picket-line front of Fort Morton, meeting the picket details from One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers and Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers. The Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers held their ground and stood firm except one post on the left. A part of the One hundred and twentieth New York gave way, being unable to fire but one volley. They rallied again and retook a portion of their lost posts. It was at this time reported to me that the line was re-established, and I so reported it. I sent out Captain C. F. Gage, Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, to inspect the line, accompanied by Adjt. Michael Boucher, Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers. The latter was captured by the enemy in our pits. I ordered one company from each the One hundred and twentieth New York and Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers to retake those pits. Captain C. F. Gage and Lieutenant William Plimley, my aide-de-camp, went with them. After a hard struggle a few were retaken. I then sent two companies from the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers to report to these officers, and they fought with the others hand to hand across the pits with brave determination and gallantry. The struggle was long, and I sent two more companies from the Eleventh Massachusetts Battalion to assist. The line was re-established and the enemy beaten back, leaving 42 prisoners, including 1 officer, in our hands.

Their dead have not been counted, but are quite numerous, lying between the two lines. A part of the staff of one of their colors, guns, and cartridge-boxes, and entrenching tools were left lying in front of our pits. They came in force, and, as prisoners say, with the intention of staying. The enemy's loss must have been quite heavy as we kept a constant enfilade fire on his flanks as well as his front. The night was very dark, and as the contest was raging, fearing that the enemy was massing troops in rear of battle, I ordered the mortar batteries of Fort Morton to open and throw their shells over the fighting line into the enemy, and have no doubt it had a good effect.

Officers and men worked in this affair with a will and determination to recapture the line that merits the greatest praise.

I take great pleasure in mentioning the following officers as having borne a conspicuous part in the re-establishment of our line: Captain Rodney B. Newkirk, Lieutenant C. F. Bowers, and Lieutenant William Plimley, of my staff; Captain James A. Hyde, Lieuts. A. R. Cole, T. C. Brooks, Ambrose M. Barber, and Richard W. Clark, of the One hundred and twentieth New York Volunteers; Captain C. F. Gage, Lieutenant C. A. Oliver, and Sergt. E. White, commanding company of the Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers; First Lieutenant and Adjt. Michael Boucher, Eleventh Massachusetts Volunteers.

My orderly, Private Thomas McBride, deserves great credit for the fearless manner in which he performed his duties. He fell while contending with the enemy near the rifle-pits.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

R. McALLISTER,

Colonel Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, Commanding Brigade.

Captain J. P. FINKELMEIER,

Assistant Adjutant-General, Third Division, Second Corps.