War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0707

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Page 707
OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.


<NN>of the enemy's fire from the batteries at Bishop's, but doing no damage. On the night of the 21st I laid out two advanced batteries (C and D) near the Kirkland house, on a hill that commanded the river well, and from which could be seen the three rebel iron-clads and four wooden gun-boats. Battery c was for five guns and D for two, both being half-sunken batteries. On the night of the -three 30-pounders and four 20-pounders, Ashby's battery, all under command of Captain Pierce, First Connecticut Artillery, were placed in these batteries, with orders to concentrate all guns as soon as daylight would permit on the nearest wooden gun-boat and endeavor to disable her; then, when driven off, to concentrate on the nearest iron-clad. Thly deranging the right of the skirmishers. The nature of my front having been ascertained the brigades on my right continued the examination. The Third New Hampshire was detached to support the First Brigade, Colonel Pond commanding, and did not rejoin me until the command was on the way to camp.

After a time General Ames informed me that Colonel Pond's brigade was to assault on the right at a point where there appeared to be little or no slashing. He instructed me that the moment the assault commenced my strong skirmish line should move up as far as practicable and vigorously engage the enemy, and that in case Colonel Pond should by successful, and the enemy in my front should show signs of breaking, I should charge with my whole force. At 2 o'clock the assault was unsuccessfully made. An exceedingly heavy fire was drawn from the enemy along the entire front of the division, and evidently a fire from veteran troops, as it was low and well directed; yet the concealment of the undergrowth and a few small trees greatly protected the men. My next instructions were to hurry back my wounded and stand ready to return. At, perhaps, 3.30 p. m. I was ordered to fall back to the open field, leaving my skirmishers, and form line of battle on the left of the division. I faced my command about, and it moved in as good order as the wood permitted to the field and the line indicated. While moving I received orders to call in the skirmishers, and they joined my line in the field, whence we were soon ordered to this camp.
Permit me to express my satisfaction with the behavior of the brigade during the entire day. There was the most cheerful and prompt obedience. Upon Captain Atwell, commanding the Seventh Connecticut, which alone did the firing, the burden of the day fell, and he showed his usual good sense and courage. The other battalion, for seven hours under a fire at times very annoying, manifested great steadiness and good discipline. My staff officers continue to merit my perfect confidence.
I inclose a list of casualties: 33 in the Seventh Connecticut, 15 in the Sixteenth New York heavy Artillery, 3 in the Third New Hampshire. The killed were all well tried and favorite soldiers.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JOS. R. HAWLEY,
Brigadier-General.

Captain CHARLES A. CARLETON,
Assistant Adjutant-General, First Division.



Page 707
OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.