War of the Rebellion: Serial 087 Page 0953 Chapter LIV. THE RICHMOND CAMPAIGN.

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of the enemy on the 27th instant. Your report says that "the enemy crossed Rowanty Creek below Burgess' Mill and forced back the cavalry in the afternoon." To correct this misapprehension I will give a brief statement of what occurred in anticipation of my report. As you were made aware by my last letter, all my dismounted men had been removed from the works on Hatcher's Run and placed in the trenches on the main line. At Armstrong's Mill, on the Vaughan road, and an old mill below there was a picket force of thirty men at each post. The enemy attacked with infantry and artillery in heavy force on the Vaughan road, and the attacking column of two regiments was repulsed. A brigade was then thrown in and flanked the works - mere rifle-pits - when the pickets fell back. In the meantime the pickets at Monk's Neck bridge having been driven in, the enemy crossed there. This force I engaged with Butler's division and checked them at once on the Quaker road. General Lee was ordered to attack them in rear, and I have no doubt but that this combined attack would have defeated them entirely, but just before Lee got into position the enemy were found to be advancing rapidly from Armstrong's Mill to the plank road in my rear. This movement I executed in person, and I discovered the enemy as he formed his line of battle at Bevill's house, within 500 yards of the mouth of the Quaker road. I saw his cavalry cross the plank road into the White Oak road, and, fearing an advance on the South Side Railroad, I rapidly arranged to transfer Butler to the White Oak road. This I did safely in perfect order and without the loss of a man by capture, though the enemy was attacking heavily in front and closing on my rear. I reached the White Oak road in time to meet an advance up that road, and at once forming line across it repulsed the enemy, who had tried to dislodge me. When Butler was withdrawn from the Quaker road I ordered Lee to move promptly to the plank road and to attack them.

As soon as these dispositions had been made I advised General Heth to attack by throwing a force across the dam at my works, and he sent me word that he would do so. As soon as he began the attack I attacked with Butler and drove the enemy in our front. To this attack General Mahone informed me that he owed the preservation of his command, which was placed between two heavy fires of the enemy. Lee, in the meantime, had got into position on the plank road, and he attacked with great spirit, driving the enemy rapidly and handsomely to Bevill's house. I connected Butler's right with Lee's left, and my line then enveloped the enemy from a point on the Quaker road to Burgess' mill-pond. Supposing that the infantry was still in position I held this line all night, intending to renew the attack at daylight. It was not until 12.30 a. m. that I knew of the withdrawal of our infantry, and I then allowed a portion of my command to leave the line.

The attack on our front was made on the dismounted [men] and Dearing in the trenches, and was handsomely repulsed. The fighting of the cavalry, which continued from sunrise to long after dark, was admirable, and everywhere successful. We captured about 225 prisoners, and the enemy left his dead and wounded in our hands. Butler reports not more than twenty men missing, and Lee had none, I think. A full return of casualties shall be sent in as soon as possible.

This movement of the enemy has shown the importance of completing the defenses on Hatcher's Run. Had my dismounted men all been in the works at Armstrong's Mill and at the Vaughan road, with these