establishing our pickets exactly on the line they had previously occupied. Early in the day the colonel commanding the division, being engaged in efforts to arrest and reform his command, was assailed in Middletown by the cavalry of the enemy, who from being dressed in our overcoats were enabled to approach him closely without exciting his suspicions, and received a mortal wound. An orderly reported to me at the point where the general had selected for reforming his command with the flag of the division, and a message from the colonel turning over to me the command.
I should say in justice to the officers generally of the division that they exerted themselves gallantly to retrieve the disaster which had befallen us in the morning. the Tenth and Eleventh West Virginia, having position on the right of our works, deserve much credit for their exertions to save a battery which had a position between these two regiments, by which five out of the six pieces were safely brought away. The commanding officers of these regiments deserve great credit for the good order in which they brought off their respective commands, and their earnest and energetic efforts to co-operate with the Nineteenth Corps in the defense of their works.
The battery on the left center of the Third Brigade was lost, but the appearance of that part of our works on the following morning showed that it was not without a severe struggle, as we there found eight of the enemy's and six of our own dead.
Amongst the casualties I have to lament the loss of Captain J. P. Kuykendall, Company K, Tenth West Virginia, and Lieutenant Joseph Peck, acting adjutant Fifty-fourth Pennsylvania Volunteers, killed. the former lost his life in a noble effort to save a gun; it would be difficult to find a more gallant and efficient officer. Lieutenant-Colonel Hall, commanding Tenth West Virginia, was wounded, and taken to the rear.
Accompanying find reports of brigade and regimental commanders, also inclosed list of casualties.*
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
T. M. HARRIS,
Captain WILLIAM McKINLEY,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
No. 108. Reports of Colonel George D. Wells, Thirty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding First Brigade, of operations August 26 and September 19 and 22.
HDQRS. FIRST BRIGADE, FIRST INFANTRY DIVISION, DEPARTMENT OF WEST VIRGINIA,
Camp near Halltown, Va., August 26, 1864.
I have the honor to report the part taken by the First Brigade in the advance to-day:
The brigade was ordered to drive the enemy out of a small triangular piece of woods in our front and hold the opposite edge while Colonel Duval advanced upon the right and until he retire, also to drive the enemy away from the wheat stacks and burn them. The One hundred and sixteenth Ohio and Fifth New Your [Heavy Artillery] were ordered to clear the woods, the Thirty-fourth [Massachusetts] to charge across the open field and fire the stacks after the woods should be
* Embodied in table, p. 134.