War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0722 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

Search Civil War Official Records

HEADQUARTERS THIRD NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS,

Laurel Hill, before Richmond, Va., October 21, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to report the following as the part taken by my command in reconnaissance of October 13, 1864.

Left camp at 4 a. m.; marched in column Second Brigade, First Division, Tenth Army Corps. On meeting enemy was ordered to deploy my command in rear right wing brigade line, as reserve. Soon after was ordered to right of division line, in rear of First Brigade, to communicate with Colonel Pond, commanding that brigade. Colonel Pond ordered me to form column in rear of his command, which I did by deploying in column by wing, right in front. After lying in this position for more than an hour, orders were received to charge the enemy's works in our front. Colonel Pond's brigade, re-enforce by the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, formed in battalion line, in double column, closed in mass. My command formed thirty yards in rear of battalion of direction. The line advanced steadily, at command forward, for about 200 yards, when the command "to charge" was given. We dashed forward about 200 yards farther. A yell given by the charging column seemed to inspire hope of success, but proved to give the concealed enemy the position of our forces and drew a terrific fire, under which Colonel Pond's brigade retired in confusion. My command retained their position, not a man leaving the ranks. Colonel Pond soon rallied a portion of his brigade. Orders were received to retire, and I covered the retreating column.

I cannot refrain from comment on this charge after stating so much relating to the conduct of this brigade. It appears to me that our advance was made too far to the right, as nearly all the fire from the enemy came across from enemy to left of our flank. I do not think the position could have been carried with the force of our command; but I cannot refrain from stating that it is my belief that the ground was not thoroughly skirmished before the charge was made. On retiring I was ordered to join the Second Brigade, and with them returned to camp.

Of the conduct of the officers and men in this unhappy affair I am truly proud, as none but true soldiers would have stood with the demoralizing shock of the retiring force.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

JAMES F. RANDLETT,

Major Third New Hampshire Volunteers, Commanding Regiment.

Lieutenant E. LEWIS MOORE,

Actg. Asst. Adjt. General, 2nd Brigadier, 1st Div., Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS THIRD NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS,

Laurel Hill, before Richmond, Va., October 30, 1864.

LIEUTENANT: I have the honor to forward the following report of the part taken by my command October 27 and 28 in skirmish on Darbytown and Charles City roads:

Marched from camp at Laurel Hill at 3.45 o'clock on morning of the 27th,in column Second Brigade, under command of Colonel Abbott.

Reached Darbytown road 5.30 o'clock. Received orders to deploy my command in advance of Second Brigade and move forward as skirmishers toward enemy's works, my left resting on Darbytown road, my