I received a second communication from him, through an officer, that his intention was to carry the bridge and advance beyond it. the noise of the firing would be thus explained. I immediately established my line of battle, threw out a strong skirmish line, holding myself in readiness for any service that might be required. At this period, and about an hour before dark, stragglers and fugitives from the enemy, who had been engaged with the Second Corp, came in, some with and some without prisoners, within my lines, apparently ignorant of my position there. Two hundred and thirty-eight prisoners, with 3 officers, were taken by the different regiments, exclusive of 5 sent to the hospital. Others were turned over, to the Second and Ninth Corps provost-marshals. At dark I threw a bridge across Hatcher's Run, in rear of the skirmish line of the First Division. The country around me was a perfect wilderness. Even the prisoners captured from the enemy had become lost in the woods, and were attempting to gain their own rear when they wandered into my lines. At 1 o'clock in the morning of the 28th I received orders from the major-general commanding the corps, informing me of the action on our left; also that General Hancock's forces would be withdrawn in the night, and directing me to withdraw cautiously in the morning. I had established a strong skirmish line around my position. I commenced to withdraw at 3 o'clock, and by daylight had my entire command across Hatcher's Creek. After the command had recrossed, and the skirmishers had been withdrawn, I sent a regiment to recross the creek to deploy and advance through the bushes in the direction of the enemy's forces. They were driven almost immediately back to the bridge. The column was carried with great difficulty through the woods and undergrowth on the left bank of the run; and, in accordance with orders I had previously received, I massed in two lines in rear of the left flank of First Division.
My list of casualties during these operations was 2 men killed, 16 men wounded, 2 officers and 27 men missing.
The officers, both of my staff and in the command, were indefatigable in their exertions in the advance in guiding the men and preventing or loss of direction. Major Jones, commanding the skirmish line of the advanced brigade (One hundred and fiftieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers), while endeavoring to communicate with me from his advanced position, had his adjutant, sergeant-major, and 1 orderly captured.
S. W. CRAWFORD,
Lieutenant Colonel FRED. T. LOCKE,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Fifth Army Corps.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, FIFTH ARMY CORPS,
December 19, 1864.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this command in the late expedition:
The division broke camp on the morning of the 7th instant, leading the infantry column of the Jerusalem road, which it followed to the Freeman's house, and turned to the right, crossing the Nottoway on a pontoon bridge at Freeman's Ford, above the bridge destroyed previously by our cavalry, and proceeded to Sussex Court-House, where it encamped with the Cavalry Division for the night. (See document
32 R R-VOL XLII, PT I.