War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0780 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

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leaving two companies as pickets, who were to return to the entrenchments. On the 16th instant, in accordance with orders from Colonel Wooster, I moved my regiment at 4 p.m. to near the picket-line, and deployed them as skirmishers, just in rear of the pickets. About 6 p.m. the order was given to move forward and take possession of the Kingsland road, which I did, though not without meeting with some opposition in the woods on the right. At 8 p.m. received orders to withdraw, which I did without molestation from the enemy, and returned to my camp. On the afternoon of the 17th moved with the Twenty-ninth Connecticut, Colonel Wooster commanding, and recrossed the river, crossing it at the Tenth Army Corps. Early on the morning of the 18th, in compliance with orders from the general commanding division, I moved my regiment to the extreme front, and was ordered by Colonel Shaw, commanding brigade, to take position on the left of the brigade behind the breast-works. There was some picket-firing in my front during the fore part of the day, which settled into an attack upon the pickets by the enemy about 5 p.m. At this time our pickets were pressed back by the enemy's skirmish line and came running within the entrenchments. On going to the right of my line, where the firing at this time was heaviest, I discovered that the regiment that had been supporting me on that flank had been withdrawn, leaving my right wing entirely unprotected. I immediately deployed a company to cover me in that direction as far as possible. The enemy pressed forward to the works on my right and to the edge of the woods in my front, but were soon compelled by the severity of my fire to retire. They kept up continual skirmishing until late at night, but did not again press back the pickets. During the remainder of the time my regiment was on the north side of the river they were not engaged with the enemy.

The conduct of my officers and men was all I could wish.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

GEO. E. WAGNER,

Major, Commanding.

Major R. S. DAVIS,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. EIGHTH REGIMENT U. S. COLORED TROOPS,

Chaffin's Farm, Va., October 6, 1864.

SIR: I have the honor to make the following report to the commanding general of the part taken by my regiment in the late movements against Richmond:

I received orders on the 28th of September to hold my command in readiness to move at 3 p.m. About 5 o'clock it, with the balance of the brigade, started, crossing the James River at Aiken's Landing, and halted at 3.30 a.m. on the 29th at Deep Bottom. At daybreak we were again on the move, and, with the remainder of the brigade, formed in the woods to the right, experiencing a slight shelling. Shortly after we again started and moved along the New Market road to its junction with the Mill road. Here we were formed in line of battle in front of the enemy's strong position at Laurel Hill. I was ordered to advance four companies, under Captain Cooper, to charge in a deployed line on the fort in my immediate front. They advanced to within less than 200 yards on the works under a terrific fire of grape and canister.