War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0494 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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attacked in rear by the rebels, who swept round and drove them at the point of the bayonet hurriedly to the rear. After a short but determined fight, they destroyed their rifles by breaking them against the trees, and a large number were made prisoners.

Colonel Wheelock, commanding the Second Brigade, finding himself unsupported on the right or left in the entrenchments, and fearing the enemy might obtain the advantage of him, as the fire of our artillery was severe, fell back in line of battle to the edge of the woods. I was reforming what was left of Lyle's brigade, and ordered them to take post upon the left of Wheelock. I advanced with the whole line, regained possession of the works, and re-established my picket-line as it had been formed in the morning. A brigade, under Colonel Humphrey, of the Ninth Corps, advanced on my left, and his brigade and the Second Brigade of my division reoccupied the works. A brigade, under General Hartranft, advanced on the right. In this advance the colors of a rebel regiment were captured. On the afternoon of the 19th a rebel flag belonging to a North Carolina regiment was captured by Private Solomon J. Hottenstine,* of the One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania, and was presented by him to the general commanding the division, who deposited it with the corps commander. I remained upon the center and left of my line until the close of the action. The rebels passed freely around me on every side, and I was once in their hands, but escaped almost miraculously. I held the men to the entrenchments until our own artillery rendered our position absolutely untenable. There was no falling back beyond the artillery by any part of my line. The men fought surrounded by the enemy on every side, and while I deeply regret the loss of so many brave veteran officers and men to the cause of the country at the present time, I have the satisfaction of knowing that in their capture, however much I may deplore it, no dishonor or blame can attach to them. They fought bravely and successfully with the foe in their front. (That the enemy successfully approached their rear from the extreme part of the line cannot be, and I am glad to know is not, justly chargeable to them.)

The officers of my immediate staff supported me most gallantly, as the following record will show: My adjutant-general, Captain Monteith, had his horse killed under him. Lieutenant Clarke, aide-de-camp, was severely wounded and his arm broken while carrying an order to the right of the line. Lieutenant Mead, commissary of musters, Lieutenant Merrifield, pioneer officer, and Captain Smith, acting division inspector, had their horses wounded. My personal orderly was shot through the breast, the flag bearer's horse was killed, and 2 mounted orderlies' horses were wounded and 1 lost.

The total loss in killed, wounded, and missing was as follows: From division staff, 1 officer wounded; First Brigade, 42 officers and 811 men; Second Brigade, 15 officers and 345 men; Third Brigade, 33 officers and 711 men. Total, 91 officers and 1,867 men.+

On the 21st the command was on the extreme right of the line and was not engaged, except the batteries of the division.

The reports of Colonel Lyle, commanding First Brigade; of Colonel Wheelock, commanding Second Brigade; of Colonel Tilden, commanding the extreme left of the line, and also of Brigadier-General Bragg,


* Awarded a Medal of Honor.

+ But see revised statement, p. 124.