War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0238 N. AND SE. VA., N.C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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Numbers 70. Reports of Bvt. Brigadier General Robert McAllister, Eleventh New Jersey, Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of operations February 5-6 and March 25.


February 13, 1865.

MAJOR: In compliance with orders from division headquarters, I have the honor to report the part taken in the operations of the 5th and 6th instant:

According to orders received, we broke camp and left at 7 a.m. on the morning of the 5th, the brigade following the Second, commanded By General West. In passing the Cummings house we were halted, and I was ordered by Brevet Major-General Mott to place my brigade in line of battle near the Tucker house, across the road leading past it, and to throw out pickets well to the front, connecting them with the Second Division pickets on my left; also, to guard well my right. This was accomplished in a very short time, giving my personal superintendence to the placing of the pickets and their connection with the Second Division pickets on the road leading through the left center of my line of battle, as directed. After taking a survey of the whole field, and making myself acquainted with the roads and swamps in my front and right, I returned to my command. At 12.30 p.m. I received orders from General Humphreys to build breast-works. My men went at it with a will, and soon had the works under way, at the same time extending them toward the swamp on the right, to prevent my being flanked. Meanwhile an order was received from Brevet Major-General Mott to throw a regiment across a road a considerable distance from my left, leading down toward the Armstrong Mill. I placed there the Seventh New Jersey Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Price, and had my brigade to connect with him by taking distance to the left. These works are now nearly completed. 3.30 p.m. a staff officer from Brevet Brigadier-General Ramsey presented a telegram from Major-General Humphreys, ordering General Ramsey to relieve me in my position; at the same time the head of General Ramsey's brigade was on the ground, with the general leading it. I obeyed the order, and sent my adjutant-general, Captain Finkelmeier, to division headquarters for orders, massing in the meantime, my brigade in my rear. 4 p.m. received orders to form on the left of General Ramsey. I at once commenced the movement; my right regiments were just filling in, when the attack was made on the picket-line. I then ordered "double-quick," and we were moving in rapidly. Lieutenant-Colonel William of Major-General Humphreys' staff, then informed me that there was a gap in the line between myself and Ramsey, caused by General Ramsey closing to the right; my rear regiment (the Eleventh New Jersey Volunteers, Colonel Schoonover), intended for the left of the line, was taken off and hurried into this gap. They received a fire from the enemy and returned it, causing the left of the enemy's advancing line of battle to falter and lie down. The fire was taken up all along the line as fast as my troops were formed. The pickets in my new front having come running in without firing a shot, left the enemy right on us before I had my line completed. Regiment after regiment opened on the rebels as fast as they wheeled into position, causing their line to halt and lie down. The left regiment, the Eighth New Jersey Volunteers, under command of Major Hartford, or the left wing of it, had no