War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0228 N. AND SE. VA., N.C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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reconnaissance in order to ascertain his whereabouts if he had retired behind his works, and what was his position. I therefore took with me four regiments-Second U. S. Sharpshooters, Twentieth Indiana Volunteers, Seventeenth Maine Volunteers, and First Maine Heavy Artillery. I deployed the Second U. S. Sharpshooters right and left of the road running north, with an advance guard on the road and a reserve. On the left of Thompson's house I found a side road through the woods, where I left two companies of the Twentieth Indiana to secure my rear, and proceeded on without meeting the enemy, who had withdrawn his advance picket-line, until I reached an opening where a light work had been built across the road. Some rebels were occupying them, but were dislodged after a few shots and ran toward the left, where we could see the Watkins house, and 200 or 300 yards farther a continuous line of works occupied by the enemy. Moving therefore my skirmishers in that direction, I advanced toward the Watkins house, where the rebel outposts were again dislodged without resistance after an exchange of a few shots. It became the more and more apparent that we were in front of the enemy's works, and in order to more fully develop their strength I pushed nearer my skirmishers, when the enemy was seen moving rapidly in some force toward the side road where I had left two companies of the Twentieth Indiana. Supposing that an attempt would be made there in my rear to cut me off, I sent back the balance of the be made there in my rear to cut me off, I sent back the balance of the Twentieth Indiana, following soon after with the two other regiments, while my skirmishers were marched by the left flank in a direction parallel to the one of the enemy. The reconnaissance was then transferred from the road running north to the road running west of Thompson's house, and the enemy showing no disposition to attack us I sent forward two companies deployed as skirmishers through the woods. These two companies, under the able command of Lieutenant Colonel A. S. Andrews, Twentieth Indiana Volunteers, advanced across a swamp, and soon found themselves in front of the enemy's intrenchments, with a fortified battery, or redoubt, armed wight two guns commanding the road. My men opened on the rebels visible above the parapet, when their fire was briskly returned, many of the enemy jumping above the parapet to occupy small pits in front of their intrenchments. The progress of the movements were reported successively to division and corps commanders, and the object of the reconnaissance being now fully accomplished, I received the order to return to my position inside of our lines.

In the evening of the same day, part of the Fifth Corps having met with a repulse on the other side of Hatcher's Run, I was ordered to take my command over as rapidly as possible, which was promptly obeyed, but, when near the bridge, I was informed by Major-General Meade, commanding the army, that my services were not needed any more, and that I could take my brigade back. I remained two days (7th and 8th instant) in the same position, and on the 9th I was ordered to the new position in line which my brigade now occupies.

During these operations the Second U. S. Sharpshooters under command of Major J. Ed. Doughty, has done good service. This regiment being about to be broken up, and this being probably its last engagement as a distinct organization, I take this opportunity of acknowledging its good and efficient services on this as on many other occasions during the campaigns of 1863 and 1864 when it was under my command.

All my regiments have done their duty well, as usual.