holding the balance in reserve to render our left perfectly secure, and by the same order I remained in command of that portion of the line. At 2 p.m. I withdrew the line, following the movements from the right. Assembled on our left, joined the Seventh Regiment U. S. Colored Troops, and returned to camp.
I have the honor to inclose copies of reports of commanding officers of Seventh, Ninth, and Company A, Forty-first Regiment, U. S. Colored Troops.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES SHAW, JR.
Captain M. BAILEY,
No. 295. Report of Colonel James Shaw, jr., Seventh U. S. Colored Troops, of operations September 28-30.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
In the Field, near Chaffin's Farm, Va., October 9, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from the brigadier-general commanding, I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this regiment in the action of the 29th and 30th ultimo:
On the afternoon of the 28th the regiment broke camp near Petersburg and marched to Deep Bottom, arriving at 3.30 a.m. on the 29th instant. At 6 a.m. marched down the road in front of works and formed in column of regiments in mass in the woods to the left. Crossed from thence to the New Market road, and halted at noon near the line of works now held by our forces. At about 2 p.m. we continued our march down the New Market road and was ordered to form to the left of the road in column by regiments in mass. I had passed down the regiment directing this formation and had reached the center on my return, when I found them moving to the right, and, hurrying to that flank, found we had filed to the left on the Varina road and that the enemy had opened heavily on our column with artillery. I was then directed by the general commanding to form in "right into line" on the right of the road and in a direction oblique to it, a slight descent in the ground partially covering the line, then to charge and take an earth-work some three-quarters of a mile in our front. Before the line was formed this order was countermarched, and I was directed to send out four companies as skirmishers for the same purpose. Companies C, D, G, and K were designated for this purpose, Captain Julius A. Weiss, the senior captain, in command. Deploying these companies, Captain Weiss proceeded steadily to the front, under a heavy fire of artillery, and, as he approached the works, charged into the very trenches, but was unable to get farther. Not a man faltered, but all who did not fall reached the work, charged boldly, and did all in their power to take it. They are all missing. By direction of the general commanding I then sent forward Company F, Captain Pratt, to get as near as possible and keep the enemy off the parapets, that if possible some of the first detachment might be able to escape after dark. About 5.30 p.m. a body of the enemy charged the left flank of the Eighth U. S. Colored Troops,