War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0503 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

Search Civil War Official Records

area of cleared ground of several hundred acres, extending east and west of the railroad and north along the road, perhaps half a mile from the Yellow House. This clearing is surrounded by a dense wood, interspersed with swamps, parts of it so filled with underbrush that it is difficult to penetrate. The ground is generally a level. In these grassy fields the troops were permitted to rest about an hour, when they were called to arms. The battery on the railroad had opened and skirmishing had commenced on the right and left of the road in the direction of Petersburg and in the woods beyond the open ground just mentioned. This brigade, then under the command of Colonel Peter Lyle, of the Ninetieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers, was formed in line of battle and advanced to within a short distance of the woods. The One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers were ordered to deploy as skirmishers, and advanced to within a short distance of the woods. The One hundred and seventh Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers were ordered to deploy as skirmishers, and advanced into the woods about twenty yards and halted for further orders. While this regiment was in the act of deploying and advancing, orders were given for it to oblique to the right and also extend the intervals that it might extend to the right and form a cave, following the line of the clearing so as to protect the right flank of the division, the other brigades of which were now advancing and forming on the right of the first.

The brigade soon advanced into the woods with orders to connect with the right of the Second Division, which extended across and to the right of the railroad from 50 to 100 yards. This was effected by the Sixteenth Maine Regiment (Colonel Tilden.). that regiment being on the left of the brigade. While Colonel Lyle was exerting himself to bring up each successive regiment on the right of the Sixteenth Maine into line, it being very difficult to accomplish in the thick and tangled wood and underbrush, the enemy's column of battle advanced and made a furious attack on the Second Division, on our left, and extending along the front of our brigade, then in course of formation. The Sixteenth maine first came under the fire with the right of the Second Division. The troops on the Second Division, on our left, and extending along the front of our brigade, then in course of formation. The Sixteenth Maine first came under the fire with the right of the Second Division. The troops on the right of that division retiring somewhat, left the left flank of this brigade exposed. This regiment holding its ground for some minutes, soon discovering that the enemy was threatening the flank and rear, fell back some 150 yards, together with the other regiments of the brigade that had also become engaged, suffering a loss of some killed, wounded, and missing. This was not done, however, without inflicting loss upon the enemy. Lieutenant William T. Spear, Thirty-ninth Massachusetts Volunteers, a most worthy officer, of Christian habits and character, was killed in this part of the action, and Lieutenant Colonel Charles L. Peirson and Lieutenant John D. Reed were wounded, the former very seriously, together with a considerable number of men killed, wounded, and a few prisoners. The Sixteenth Maine Regiment also lost in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Lieutenant John. T. Reilly, of the Ninetieth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was taken prisoner, with some of the men of that regiment. These regiment retiring but a short distance and reforming, the line of battle was again formed as soon as possible. The One hundred and seventh Regiment Pennsylvania Veteran Volunteers (seven shooters). The brigade, in connection with the troops on our right and left, again advanced under a brisk skirmish fire and partially reoccupied the ground from which it had just retired. The skirmishing was kept up during the evening and night 12 o'clock with but little intermission.