Commander Matthews were brought, into action one section at a time. The ambulances having been landed commenced reaching the front. One section of Titus' battery, supported by two regiments of infantry, took post half a mile in the rear. Two regiments of infantry were then drawn from the flanks and posted one mile farther to the rear, where the road crossed a ravine. Two regiments of infantry were detailed to carry the wounded. At dusk the retreat commenced. The Naval Brigade, with the exception of its two pieces of artillery, then engaged, was ordered to occupy the cross-roads; the One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers and One hundred and second U. S. Colored Troops, with one section naval artillery, remained at the front, keeping up a slow fire with artillery until 7. 30 p. m., when, the main body of the command being well on its march, they withdrew, and were in their turn covered by the First-sixth and One hundred and forty-fourth Regiments New York Volunteers; these were again covered by the Twenty-fifth Ohio and One hundred and fifty-seventh New York Volunteers, posted as before mentioned. The whole retrograde movement was executed without loss or confusion; there was no pursuit by the enemy or alarm of any kind; not a wounded was left on the field, except those who fell at the foot of the enemy's works in the charges in which we were repulsed; no stores or equipments fell into the hands of the enemy, except some thrown away by the men on the advance, to enable them the better to follow the enemy in his retreat.
In closing this report I must give the gallant men to credit due them. The list of killed and wounded, none of whom fell in retreat, attest their good conduct. The affair was a repulse owing entirely to the strong position held by the enemy and our want of ammunition. A few instances of individual gallantry that have come particularly to my knowledge I will mention: Colonel A. S. Hartwell, Fifty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, commanding brigade, received his third wound during the engagement at the foot of the enemy's entrenchments; Colonel James C. Beecher, Thirty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops, twice wounded, refused to go to the until the close of the action; Lieutenant George H. Crocker, Third New York Artillery, continued to serve his guns, after losing and eye, until they were withdrawn by order.
Lieutenant Cols. W. T. Bennett and James F. Hall, of my staff; S. L. Woodford, One hundred and twenty-seventh New York Volunteers; N. Haughton, Twenty-fifth Ohio; James C. Carmichael, One hundred and fifty-seventh New York Volunteers; A. J. Williard, Thirty-fifth U. S. Colored Troops; Lieutenant Commanders A. F. Crossman and E. O. Matthews, U. S. Navy; Captain T. J. Mesereau, Third New York Artillery, Lieutenant G. G. Stoddard, U. S. Marines; Lieutenant E. H. Titus and George C. Breck, Third New York Artillery, deserve particular mention. The brigade commanders- Brigadier General E. E. Potter, Commander G. H. Preble, U. S. Navy, and Lieutenant Colonel William Ames, Third Rhode Island Artillery-gave me a hearty support. General Potter, who commander the advance, handled his troops handsomely, and personally superintended the withdrawal of the rear of the command on the retreat. To my own staff I am indebted for their energy and activity. Colonel G. A. Pierce, quartermaster, volunteer aide, was wounded whilst making a reconnaissance. Captain G. E. Gouraud, of General Foster's staff, won the praise of all, and is particularly commended for gallantry. * Capts. W. W. Sampson, acting aide-de-camp, and T. L. Appleton, assistant provost-marshal; Lieutenant L. B. Perry, acting assistant adjutant-General; E. B. Van Winkle, aide-de-camp; D. D. McMartin,
* Gouraud was awarded a Medal of Honor.