War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0744 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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the friction primer failing each time, the fact was reported to the commanding officer, who ordered it withdrawn, and the whole force to return to the boat. In falling back, Corporal Gould, of Company K, having been ordered to go tot the left of the line and notify a small party sent out to protect the flank of our movements, got lost. Thinking that he had or would soon find his wary to the bank of the river, no search was made, and we immediately re-embarked and sailed for Deep Bottom, where we disembarked at 3.30 a. m.

Had this expedition been conducted by a sober infantry officer, I think it would have amounted to the capture of quite a number of pickets without the loss of a man. The company of Third Pennsylvania Volunteer Heavy Artillery behaved very shamefully, and were very badly commanded. After my skirmishers had gained the mill, a volley was fired into them from the rear from where the said company lay. The officers seemed entirely inefficient in the command of men in action, rendered so by intoxicating liquors, and a want of understanding infantry tactics.

I am, most respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. A. NICKELS,

Captain, Eleventh Maine Volunteers, Commanding Company C.

[Colonel H. M. PLAISTED.]

Numbers 280. Reports of Colonel Harris M. Plaisted, Eleventh Maine Infantry, of operations August 3-14, 14-16, and 18-19.

HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS,

Deep Bottom, Va., August 5, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in obedience to Special Orders, Numbers 89, from your headquarters, August 3, to detail 100 men to report to Captain Sanderson, Captain Nickels, of my regiment, with Companies F, I and K, reported to Captain S. for the special duty assigned them. He embarked on board Navy tug-boat at 8 p. m. and returned to camp at daylight August 4, with the loss of one man, an excellent soldier (Corporal Gould, of Company K), who it is hoped will yet come in. Captain Nickels' report* of the affair is inclosed as part of this report.

I have the honor to be, captain, your obedient servant,

H. M. PLAISTED,

Colonel, Commanding Eleventh Maine Volunteers.

Captain DAVIS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Third Brigadier, First Div., Tenth Army Corps.

HEADQUARTERS ELEVENTH MAINE VOLUNTEERS,

Deep Bottom, Va., August 21, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report the part performed by my regiment in the engagements at Deep Bottom and Deep Run, Va., on the 14th and 16th of August.

At 4.15 a. m. August 14 I received orders from General Foster to be in readiness with my regiment to attack the enemy at daylight. Three

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*See next, ante.

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