Numbers 127. Reports of Brigadier General Charles Griffin, U. S. Army, commanding First Division, of operations August 18-21, October 27-28, and December 7-12.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST DIVISION, FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
August 27, 1864.
COLONEL: In compliance with Circular Numbers 120, of this date, I have the honor to report the following operations of the First Division, commencing with the 18th instant:
The division struck camp on the morning of the 18th, a little before 4 o'clock, at or near the Chieves house, and marched at about 5 o'clock. Upon reaching a point near the Gurley house, a line of battle was formed by the First and Second Brigades, with a strong skirmish line in front. The command was then pushed forward across the Weldon railroad, at the Yellow House, where it arrived at 9 o'clock, driving the enemy's cavalry before it, and capturing several prisoners, which position it holds at this present time. A strong picket-line having been pushed some 1,500 yards to the front, toward the Vaughan road, immediate measures were taken, by building rifle-pits and slashing, to strengthen the position. On the 19th, about 5 p. m., First and Third Brigades were moved to the line occupied by the other divisions of the corps. The Third Brigade remained but a few moments, when it returned to its position without being engaged. The First Brigade moved forward about 500 men, consisting of the One hundred and eighty-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, to the support of the first line of battle, and was very sharply engaged for about half an hour. The remainder of the First Brigade occupied the rifle-pits of the second line during that night, when the entire brigade next morning was relieved, and took up the position first occupied. The 20th was occupied by the command in felling timber and strengthening its works. On the morning of the 21st the enemy appeared in front of the command, driving in the picket-line with a line of battle, his line of battle extending a little beyond the front occupied by the division. The enemy moved forward slowly, the picket-line falling back, opposing his advance. After reaching the slashing the enemy was compelled by the infantry and artillery fire to fall back in confusion.
The loss of the command during the several days' fight was 9 killed, 36 wounded, and 94 missing.* Quite a number of prisoners were taken, and the colors of the Twenty-seventh South Carolina Regiment by Private F. C. Anderson, Company A, Eighteenth Massachusetts Battalion, who also brought in the color-sergeant. The command buried 31 rebel dead, and brought in a large number of wounded prisoners and 84 rebel muskets.
In conclusion, I beg to state that the conduct of both officers and men was all that could be desired.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Lieutenant Colonel F. T. LOCKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifth Army Corps.
*But see revised statement, p. 123.