War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0461 Chapter LIV] THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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of the road, while the One hundred and twenty-first, One hundred and forty-second, and One hundred and forty-third Regiments advanced up the railroad above the Yellow House and formed a line across and at right angles with the road, throwing out skirmishers well to the front. This line was soon relieved by the brigade of General hayes, of the Second Division, and the regiments relieved at once commenced the destruction of that portion of the road, under direction of Major H. N. Warren, of the One hundred and forty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers. From 4 to 6 p. m. the brigade was subjected to a severe artillery fire of the enemy. At dark the brigade, with the exception of the One hundred and fiftieth Regiment, on picket, formed a line of battle west of and parallel to the railroad, opposite to the Yellow House, and during the night threw up breast-works.

On the afternoon of the 19th the brigade was moved up the railroad to the support of the Second Division, Fifth Corps, and formed at right angles with the road, our left resting on the railroad. We afterward advanced into the woods, strengthening the works and falling timber during the night. We were subjected in our ;advance to a severe fire of artillery, and throughout the night to an annoying sharpshooters' fire. On the forenoon of the 20th were relieved from this position, and returned to former position along the railroad. On the morning of the 21st (Sunday) the enemy advanced from the Vaughan road, driving in our pickets, who made stout resistance, falling back slowly, fighting the enemy's lines of battle. The enemy assaulted our line in gallant style, but was repulsed, with heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Their dead and wounded were left in our hands. During this assault the One hundred and forty-third, One hundred and twenty-first, and One hundred and eighty-seventh Regiments were moved rapidly to the left of our lines, and formed to cover the railroad, and at this point repulsed the enemy, with loss. This assault of the enemy was covered by a heavy artillery fire on our whole front, but our men being well covered by their breast-works, our losses were light, our greatest loss being in men captured on the picket-line, when the enemy advanced. During the night of the 21st the One hundred and forty-second, One hundred and forty-ninth, and One hundred and fiftieth moved to the left, and extended our line across the railroad, when strong breast-works and abatis were built, which have since been occupied by the brigade.

The First Brigade led the advance in the movement against the Petersburg and Weldon Railroad and was the first to possess, hold, and destroy this portion of the road, which has been so successfully held against the repeated assaults of the enemy to regain it. We are now strongly entrenched across the road, with the ties and rails destroyed for several miles in our front. The brigade was commanded from the 17th to the 22nd by Colonel W. S. Tilton, Twenty-second Massachusetts Volunteers, and since that time by the undersigned.

Our losses during the operations of the 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st, are as follows: Killed, enlisted men, 5; wounded, enlisted men, 13; missing (pickets, supposed to have been captured), officers, 1, enlisted men, 43; total, 62.*

Respectfully submitted.


Lieutenant Colonel First Michigan Veteran Infantry, Commanding Brigade.

Captain W. S. DAVIS,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, First Division, Fifth Army Corps.


*But see revised statement, p. 123.