War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0761 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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supposed to be Fort Gilmer, and was informed that Brigadier-General Birney was to advance simultaneously on my left, and that I was to be supported by troops of Brigadier-General Paine's command. I was to commence the movement in ten minutes from the receipt of order. I at once formed my line, the Second Brigade, Colonel G. Pennypacker, Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania Volunteers, on the right; the First, Colonel R. Daggett, One hundred and seventeenth New York Volunteers, on the center, and the Third, Colonel Louis Bell, Fourth New Hampshire Volunteers, on the left, and at 1.35 p.m. moved forward, the distance from the road to the fort being three-quarters of a mile. As we advanced I found four ravines intervening also that old trees and undergrowth had been slashed, rendering our advance very show, and requiring a halt at the second ravine, and again just after the crossing of the Fourth to reform. During this time the command was subject to a very severe enfilading fire of artillery from two forts on the right and one gun from a fort on the left, and a front fire from Fort Gilmer, which disabled many of my men. After reforming the last time the line moved forward to the assault and advanced rapidly under a heavy fire from infantry, an artillery fire of grape and canister from Fort Gilmer, and shell and case from the two forts to the right, but was obliged to fall back. With the assistance of the officers of my command the line was rallied and reformed, and one brigade of Brigadier-General Paine's command coming to my support another assault was made, which was again unsuccessful and the forces obliged to retire, which they did slowly and stubbornly to the New Market and Richmond road, when the line was again reformed. As my line advanced to the assault a body of troops of the enemy, apparently 500 or 600, moved from the fort on the right, and reached Ford Gilmer in season to assist the garrison in our repulse. In this assault the colors of the Third New York Volunteers were lost. I had the circumstances investigated and have the honor to forward herewith the report of the commanding officer of the regiment, which, with the indorsement of the brigade commander, would seem to show that it was not through any unworthy act on the part of the regiment. At dusk on the 29th, pursuant to orders, I withdrew my command to the line of works taken in the morning, taking position, my left at the New Market and Richmond road, where crossed by the line, my right refused, and resting at the Lines house. The Second Brigade was taken from my command at this time and ordered to report to the commanding officer Eighteenth Army Corps.

On the morning of the 30th I moved my command by the left flank along the lines of captured works about the mile, connecting on my right with the First Division, Tenth Army Corps, and on my left with those of the Third Brigade, Tenth Army Corps. Immediately on gaining this position I commenced turning the face of the enemy's works and raising and strengthening the parapet, putting in abatis and otherwise rendering them defensible. At 10 p.m. the Second Brigade, having been returned, reported and went into camp near the Widow Aiken's house. On the morning of the 1st of October the Second Brigade moved to the right, taking a portion of the line occupied by the First Division. This formation has since been retained, the troops being busily engaged improving the works. On the 3rd of October the Two hundred and third Pennsylvania Volunteers were relieved from duty at Deep Bottom by the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers.

In conclusion, I would state that the troops of the division behaved well, with the exception of those officers and men who were guilty of the disgraceful and cowardly conduct of straggling. Orders of the