War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0196 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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March 28, 1865.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by this division in the operations of the 25th instant:

At about 6.30 a. m. I received orders from the major-general commanding the corps to send out reconnoitering parties to ascertain the strength of the enemy in my front. I therefore directed two detachments (one of 200 men from the Sixty-first New York Volunteers, and one of 100 men from the Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers) to charge the enemy's picket-line. The detachment of the Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers (Fourth Brigade) succeeded in driving the enemy's pickets to their works, and occupied their picket-line; that of the Sixty-first New York Volunteers (First brigade) was at first unsuccessful, being repulsed, but was moved to the left of my division line, near the Watkins house, where they again attacked with success, driving the enemy, capturing fifteen prisoners (one officer) and occupying their line of rifle-pits. Being in possession of the enemy's picket-line along my entire front, the remainder of the First-Brigade was moved out and placed in support; they were afterward moved up to the line captured from the enemy, and the picket-line advanced about fifty yards. About 2 p. m. I received orders from the major-general commanding the corps to move my entire command out of the works into position near the Skinner house, preparatory to attacking the enemy in force - the First Brigade (Colonel Scott, Sixty-first New York Volunteers) forming the left, the Second Brigade (Colonel R. Nugent, Sixty-ninth New York Volunteers) extending the line to the right, and the Third Brigade (Colonel A. Funk, Thirty-ninth New York Volunteers) in reserve. The Fourth Brigade (Colonel Mintzner, Fifty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers) was on its way to skill further extend my line to the right, when the enemy made a vigorous attack upon that portion of the line held by the First Brigade. After a spirited fight of about half an hour they were repulsed.

At about 4 p. m. another attack was made by the enemy farther to my right upon the line of the Second Brigade. They were met in the most gallant manner, and after repeated efforts to turn my right flank, which were foiled by the presence of the Fourth Brigade (Colonel Mintzer) and the Third (colonel Funk), which was brought up and placed only extreme right, they were again repulsed with heavy loss. My line of battle now extended from the Watkins house on the left to the Smith house on the right. During the progress of this fight the Second Brigade was re-enforced by a regiment from General Bartlett's brigade, of the Fifth Corps, which had arrived on the ground and was lying in reserve in rear of the Skinner house. The enemy's last attack was made at about 6 p. m., and extended along my whole division front. It was made with a heavy force (prisoners were taken from Heth's and Johnson's divisions). The enemy were repulsed and driven back at all points. Toward the close of this action the Second Brigade, being out of ammunition, after having once replenished their boxes, and having sustained a loss of about one-fourth its numbers, was relieved by three regiments of General Bartlett's brigade, Fifth Corps. The enemy fell back, leaving his head and wounded on the field.

At 8 p. m. the Fifth Corps troops, above mentioned, were withdrawn, and their ground partially covered by men of the First and Fourth Brigades. A strong picket-line was established, and at 1 a. m. (26th), under orders from the major-general commanding the corps, I withdrew my command to the entrenchments left the previous morning.