Thompson, commanding in my absence, who felt compelled to retire the regiment under the grape and canister poured into it from this work. It retired deliberately and I reformed it, by your order, under cover of the woods, and bivouacked that night behind the enemy's former second line, which were reserved and strengthened. At daylight of the 30th ultimo the brigade moved along the works toward the James River, reversing and strengthening them until near 2 p.m., when the enemy attacked sharply on the left, and this regiment moved by the left flank at a double-quick, across a heavy musketry and artillery fire, to the support of Paine's division, Eighteenth Corps, with order to assist wherever required. Only a small portion of the right wing, however, had an opportunity to engage; the balance were formed in line thirty paces in rear of that division and relieved one of its regiments shortly afterward. All the officers under my command behaved well, but I feel bound to distinguish by name First Lieutenant Ira H. Evans, acting adjutant.
The list of casualties has already been forwarded.*
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
EDWIN S. BABCOCK,
Captain, Commanding Ninth Regiment U. S. Colored Troops.
Captain M. BAILEY,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Birney's Division, Tenth Corps.
No. 298. Report of Captain Hugh S. Thompson, Ninth U. S. Colored Troops, of operations October 27-28.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
In the Field, October 29, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that this command left camp on the morning of the 27th instant at 6 a.m., following the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops to a point about three-quarters of a mile to the right of the New Market road, where we formed in double column on the center 150 paces to the rear of the left wing of the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops. When the Seventh advanced through the woods toward the front we followed, keeping that distance from them. After afterward Companies D and C, commanded by Lieutenants Goodyear and Phelps, were thrown out as flankers. I was then ordered to deploy the regiment, fronting toward the left. About half an hour afterward I was ordered to move the regiment forty paces to the left and front. We remained in that position until 6 p.m., when I was ordered to form the regiment in line of battle, sixty paces in rear of the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops. In the meantime we received intelligence that Companies D and C had, under orders of Colonel Wright, charged on the rebel skirmish line, carrying it, and capturing 2 prisoners, with a loss of 1 man killed and 1 wounded. (This morning Lieutenant Phelps reports 4 men of Company C wounded.) The regiment remained in line of battle behind the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops until about 8 p.m., when I was ordered to form the regiment forty paces to the rear, and perpendicular to the left of the Seventh U. S. Colored Troops. Remaining
*Embodied in table, p.134.