War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0492 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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Lieutenant-Colonel Bankhead, the acting assistant inspector-general, to throw forward my right, and, as far as possible, advance toward the railroad and strike the enemy on his left flank. this was at once ordered, and the line moved forward on the right. the skirmish line, strongly supported, advanced. We met the enemy on the right and center and drove him back from tow chains of hastily-constructed rifle-pits to his entrenchments beyond a large corn-field in front of the thicket of woods. To advance my line was a matter of the greatest difficulty. So dense and tangled was the undergrowth, and so interspersed with swamps, that it was almost impossible to keep up the congestion or to see beyond twenty or thirty feet. The line was established, however. I reported to the general commanding the corps the result of my advance, and received from him the following communication:


August 18, 1864 - 8 p. m.


You have done very well indeed in getting forward through that difficult country so far. Make yourself strong as you can and hold on. I will try and re-enforce you by Bragg's brigade in the morning, and establish direct communication with the Ninth Corps pickets. We are going to hold on here.




The line was entrenched during the night in front of the First Brigade. At daylight next morning I ordered the Second Brigade to take position on the right of the First Brigade and to extend the entrenchments on its front. It moved to its position and commenced throwing up the works. In order to extend my line as far as was desired, the One hundred and ninety-first Pennsylvania, under Colonel Carle, was ordered to take post on the right of the One hundred and ninetieth Pennsylvania, and these two regiments covered the whole of my front and flank - a strong skirmish line. The picket-firing continued during the night. At 3 a. m. General Bragg reported to me with his brigade, consisting of the Sixth Wisconsin Volunteers, Seventh Wisconsin Volunteers, Twenty-fourth Michigan Volunteers, Seventh Indiana Volunteers, Nineteenth Indiana Volunteers, and First Battalion New York Sharpshooters, and numbering only 60 officers and 700 men. I directed General Bragg, in person, to proceed to my right flank and take position there until further orders, and at the same time sent a staff officer to conduct him. Before daylight a staff officer of the general commanding the corps, Captain Cope, aide-de-camp, came with orders to the effect that General Bragg's brigade should extend to the right until a congestion was formed with the Ninth Corps. I at once sent a staff officer with Captain Cope to see General Bragg, and to carry out the orders he had received. The Ninth Corps pickets were found in the neighborhood of the Aiken house, the shortest point from the right of my line, and the line advanced at once directly eastward until it should strike the position this division had formerly occupied in front of the Strong house. At 8 o'clock I went in person to the house and found that the change as ordered was being made. About 1 o'clock the enemy advanced a strong skirmish line through the corn-field and into the woods. He struck the right of the One hundred and ninetieth Pennsylvania and the front of the One hundred and ninety-first Pennsylvania, and after a short contest he was forced to retire. I now rode to the extreme right of General Bragg's line in order to satisfy myself that it was properly