No. 20. Report of Colonel Randal S. Mackenzie, Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, of operations September 19 and 22.
HEADQUARTERS SECOND CONNECTICUT ARTILLERY,
September 30, 1864.
In compliance with orders from headquarters Second Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps, I have the honor to report the following operations of my command during the engagement on the Opequon, September 19, 1864:
The regiment was placed in line on the right of the brigade to assist in checking the enemy after the repulse of the Nineteenth Corps in the morning. Their advance was checked and the regiment moved forward on the right of the brigade, and took up a position in a hollow seventy-five yards distant from the right of Sixty-fifth New York, and the right about 300 yards distant from the left of the Nineteenth Corps. The regiment remained in this position, about 400 yards from the enemy, until the advance of General Crook in the afternoon, when it advanced across the open field in front, being about 600 yards distant from General Crook's left, the left being followed by the Sixty-fifth new York. When the line had crossed the open field it was halted, fire was opened to the front, and the right wing of the regiment faced to the right, filed to the left and opened fire to clear the front of troops on the left; here the left of the line came in close connection with the right of the regiment. Two companies were then sent forward to occupy the copse of woods at a point about 400 yards in advance. The rest of the regiment was then brought forward and placed in line parallel to its original position, wheeled to the left and advanced over an open field, under a heavy fire, principally artillery, until it reached a point opposite the right of the brigade, then halted, when it was faced tot he left and placed on the right of the brigade. Here the action ended as far as the regiment is concerned, as the rest of the work was done by other troops, though the regiment afterward advanced some distance in line.
On the 22nd instant the regiment was advanced through woods, connecting on the right with the First Brigade. The enemy's picket-line in the woods was driven in, and the regiment was halted for some time within about 400 yards of the enemy's line, still connecting on the right with the First Brigade and on the left with the Ninety-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers. The line was finally advance dover very broken ground, and after a little firing occupied the enemy's breast-works, the enemy running away in confusion, followed by men of my regiment and other commands. The regiment became in the pursuit somewhat scattered, but soon got together again. There were some prisoners taken by the regiment in this action that I saw myself and one gun. To of the companies got separated and went into the fort on the crest of the hill with men from other regiments, where other guns were taken. i refused to send men to the rear with prisoners or with the gun, as I considered it of more importance to have the muskets ready for future service, if necessary, than to get receipts for prisoners.
In conclusion, I have the honor to state that all the officers and men of the regiment, who came under my notice, did well. Special credit is due to Majors Rice (killed) and Skinner (wounded) for promptly rallying several companies which were for a moment in confusion when the regiment first came under fire at Winchester. Lieutenant-Colonel Hubbard also deserves great credit for coolness and gallantry throughout