the rear during the whole advance. About 11. 30 a. m. the firing in front became quite heavy and continuous. At 3. 30 p. m. Lieutenant Commander E. O. Matthews was ordered to take a section of heavy 12-pounder howitzers to the front and relieve a section of New York artillery as soon as their ammunition was out. At 3 p. m. these pieces opened fire and continued firing until 6. 30 p. m., when the troops were withdrawn. Lieutenant-Commander Matthews covered their withdrawal until relieved by a section of horse artillery, under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ames. The remainder of the artillery battalion returned next in advance of the heavy artillery with the retiring column, as ordered, to the forks, where it had previously encamped and where it was joined by the section under Lieutenant Commander E. O. Matthews, when the whole battery was placed in a defensive position to guard the roads until morning. I was much indebted to you for furnishing horses for the artillery, as the long march had greatly fatigued the men. Two companies of sailor infantry did good service in assisting at the drag ropes of the artillery, which could not have been brought up without such assistance. The remaining companies assisted in turning back stragglers from the front. Otherwise, much to the reluctance of its commanding officer, the sailor infantry was compelled to remain inactive in reserve, waiting your orders to move to the front. About noon the battalion of marines was ordered to advance, which they did by the right flank, led by Actg. Adjt. A. F. Crossman and commanded by First Lieutenant George G. Stoddard, U. S. Marine Corps, to the road where a battery was in action; there filed to the right about 500 yards, then to the left, coming on to the line of battle in the rear of the Twenty-fifth Ohio Volunteers. They then filed to the right and came by the left flank in line of battle, taking position to the right a little in advance of the line previously formed and in a position pointed out by yourself on the field. The last mile and the coming into line was done on the double quick. As soon as formed in line was opened on the enemy, who seemed to be in force on the left. At 2 p. m. Acting Ensign Carter, acting as major of the battalion, was sent with twenty men to deploy and advance on the right flank. He proceeded for 200 yards without finding the enemy. At 3. 30 p. m. the line having fallen back on the left compelled the marine to retire as the enemy advanced, which was done in good order, and a new position taken on the cross-road but still on the right of the line. This place was held by the marine battalion until about 6 p. m., when, in obedience to orders, it was marched to the rear, and took up its position at the forks on the left of the Naval Battery.
Lieutenant Stoddard calls attention to the gallant conduct of Sergeant Cogly in bringing up ammunition to the front under heavy fire, and thus enabling the battalion to hold its position.
With the exception of one man wounded in the battery, all the casualties in my command were among the marines. Considering that the marines were drawn from the vessels of the squadron scattered on the blockade, and had been formed into a battalion only two days previous, and that all the company officers were sergeants, I think their conduct creditable to the corps.
Asst. Surg. W. J. Bowdle, of U. S. Navy, my senior medical officer, at the request of Surg. George S. Burton, U. S. Army, chief medical officer of the military force, was detailed to the church hospital in the rear, and from 9 a. m. the 30th until 2 p. m. December 1 was constantly employed in attending to the wounded brought from the front, and has since been and is still employed at Boyd's Landing in that service.