the assault. The line advanced steadily under a light artillery fire until within musket-range, when it met a sharp fire from the enemy's infantry. Colonel Cullen charged to within a short distance of the fortifications, when, from his heavy losses and the strength of the enemy, it was found impossible to carry them. As the Second Brigade advanced to the charge, I moved the First Brigade forward some 200 or 300 yards, under cover of the woods, for support. I reported the result of the movement to Brevet Major-General Weitzel, commanding corps, when I received an order from him to withdraw, Colonel Cullen's brigade bringing off the wounded. I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Raulston to throw out a strong line of skirmishers along the edge of the woods, with instructions to keep up a sharp fire, in order to cover the withdrawal as much as possible. I sent Lieutenant Cook, of my staff, to give the order for the return of the Second Brigade. He went to the right of the line, and soon the troops began to return in small squads. He communicated the order in person to nearly the whole line, but did not find Colonel Cullen. He saw a few men still farther to his left, but across a plain in full view of the enemy's line, to whom it was next to an impossibility to go. Lieutenant Cook was not warranted, in my opinion, in exposing himself to more, when the men were retiring as fast as possible from all part of the field. After the return of the Second Brigade I was ordered to form a second line, somewhat retired from the position my division now held. The First and Third Brigades were brought into line about 100 yards in rear of the position occupied by the battery during the engagement, the left resting on the road. The Second Brigade was placed in reserve; a short skirmish line covered my front and right flank. Just after dark I received the order to retire with my division, leaving the picket-line and the officer in charge who reported to General Heckman. I returned by the same road we advanced over in the morning, and encamped in line of battle on the left of the Charles City road, about half a mile above White's Tavern.
The next morning several changes were made in the troops of the division. During the forenoon I received the order to retire by the nearest road and take up my original position along the line of works near Chaffin's Bluff. During this movement the division was halted for about an hour on the Darbytown road by order of General Butler, conveyed to me by one of his staff officers. The division arrived at its present position about 5 o'clock on the evening of the 29th of October.
I regret the loss of many brave officers and men and three stand of colors, that were lost in the charge of the Second Brigade.
A list of casualties has already been forwarded.*
I have the honor to forward the report of brigade commanders.
I have the honor to be, captain, very respectfully,
Captain D. D. WHEELER, A. A. G., Eighteenth Army Corps.
Numbers 319. Report of Lieutenant Colonel John B. Raulston, Eighty-first New York Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations October 27-28.
HDQRS. FIRST Brigadier, FIRST DIV., 18TH ARMY CORPS,
Fort Burnham, Va., October 30, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to orders from headquarters First Division, this brigade-consisting of the Thirteenth
*Embodied in table, p. 150, 151.