Numbers 273. Reports of Colonel Joseph C. Abbott, Seventh New Hampshire Infantry, of operations August 13-20 and October 13.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS,
August 24, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the Seventh New Hampshire Volunteers in the movement on the north side of the James River, commencing August 13 and ending August 20:
At 11 p. m. of August 13, with 21 officers and 360 men, I marched from camp at Bermuda Hundred and took the road to Deep Bottom. Owing to an understanding that the corps was to march to Bermuda Landing, and there embark on transports, many men were reported for duty who were not able to endure a march or a campaign. In consequence there was an unusual amount of straggling, and I crossed the pontoon bridge at Deep Bottom with less than 300 men. After passing over the pontoon bridge, my regiment occupying the right of Hawley's brigade, passed by the earth-works at Deep Bottom and formed in line of battle on the left of a road. At this time the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers formed on its left, and my line was a prolongation of that of Pond's brigade, which was on the right of the road. Soon after daylight, our forces having pressed in the enemy's pickets, I advanced to an open field fronting a line of the enemy's earth-works, where, by order of Colonel Hawley, I formed in double column in mass on the right of the brigade. nearly this position I occupied until about 4 p. m., when I moved to the right about 1,000 yards, and rested in line of battle. This position I left at about 10 p. m., and marched to Deep Bottom, where I bivouacked for the night. At about 9 o'clock on the morning of the 15th I marched from Deep Bottom along the New Market road about three miles and rested in line of battle in the rear of a piece of woods, my front being toward the west. At about 4 p. m. I moved about 2,000 yards to the right and took position behind slight intrenchments during the night. On Tuesday, the 16th, I was detailed and entered upon duties as corps officer of the day, the command of the regiment thereby devolving on Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson; but at the request of Colonel Hawley I was present with the regiment, and did, in fact, exercise the command during the day.
About 10 a. m. of the 16th still occupying the right of Hawley's brigade. I moved about 1,000 yards to the right by flank, and then advanced in line of battle, changing the point of direction gradually to the left, across a ravine, where the whole brigade was halted. The assault on the enemy's works having been commenced and the outer works carried, I advanced to the line of those works. Upon reaching the works, by order of General Terry I passed beyond them, changed front to the right, and advanced about 100 yards, taking position so as to intercept a flank movement of the enemy from that direction. As the action progressed, finding that the brigades that had advanced were falling back, and that there were movements of the enemy on my left flank which promised to be serious, while there was very little in my front, I recrossed the intrenchment and took position on a line with it. This position I occupied during the remainder of the fight. While here portions of Hawley's brigade retired from the advanced position and took position on my right, while portions of other brigades occupied the line of works on my left. Nearly all the time while in this position my command sustained an annoying fire on the left flank, with