War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0640 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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mile, when I was ordered to halt. The infantry relieved my skirmishers on the right and left of the road, and we again moved forward to within one mile of White's Tavern, meeting no serious opposition from the enemy. At that point the enemy were found in considerable force and behind entrenchments, with a battery covering the Charles City road, which they opened on our advance and simultaneously charged our line, which obliged us to fall back to the open field in rear. The brigade was then disposed in column of regiments to meet the attack. Heavy firing on our left flank was heard and the infantry were withdrawn, heaving us the entire line to protect and hold. The first position was abandoned, and another more available chosen to the rear of it, which was defended gallantly and successfully against repeated assaults of the enemy as long as was practicable. A second line was formed in the edge of the woods fronting the plain near Fisher's house, composed of the Second Pennsylvania Calvary, behind which we retired without being closely followed, and again formed. The attack on the Second Pennsylvania Calvary was made soon after, and with such vigor that it was obliged to fall back slowly, contesting every inch of ground. This gave the enemy an opportunity to operate on our right flank, which rendered our position untenable. It was consequently changed to the opposite side of the swamp under cover of the Second Pennsylvania Cavalry, which was dismounted and in the rifle-pits. After crossing, the command was reorganized, and every available man placed behind the works. The enemy made no attempt to follow across the swamp. Relieved by the First Brigade at dark and moved back to our camp of the night previous.

August 17, remained in camp picketing the roads leading east from Malvern Hill, and sending one regiment (Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry) to picket a portion of country on the right of First Brigade line and on Charles City road. August 18, a. m. Thirteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry relieved Eighth Pennsylvania, and at 4 p. m. remainder of brigade directed to relieve First Brigade. One regiment (Fourth Pennsylvania) was sent to relieve the troops occupying the works at Deep Run. Arriving there the staff officer whom I sent found heavy skirmishing going on at that point, and at once dismounted a portion of the regiment and threw them into the works, losing two men by a shell exploding in the column while moving to its post. I, with three regiments (First Maine, Second and Eighth Pennsylvania), proceeded by the Malvern Hill road to relieve the right of General Davies' line. While in the act of relieving, a general attack was made on the entire line, and with such fury that [we] were driven back some distance. The battery was put in position and checked their farther advance. The Second Pennsylvania lost heavily-4 officers in killed, wounded, and missing, and 32 men. First Maine, 2 men killed and 2 wounded. The line during the night was re-established, and the entire command kept under arms. August 19, on picket. August 20, in camp; greater part of command on duty, picketing. In the evening I was relieved by Colonel C. H. Smith.

Too much cannot be said in praise of the gallantry displayed by the officers and men under my command.

M. KERWIN,

Colonel, Commanding.

[Captain A. H. BIBBER,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.]