War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0256 N. AND SE.VA., N.C., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

enough there to have held the enemy till any amount of re-enforcements could have arrived. On the whole, it was not a bad fight and in no way discouraged me in my willingness to try the same thing again with the same men. Nearly all the operations of the column toward Dabney's Mill I was an eye-witness to, and can speak of the good conduct of all those officers on whom I have heretofore relied. I, however, refer you to the division and brigade reports for specific details. The operations on the Vaughan road were completely successful, but they required and took up a very considerable force that I expected to use on the other road, and thus rendered us too weak at that point, to which I gave my personal attention, and which, from the relation of our forces, was the important one. I beg to refer to the reports of General Gregg, of the cavalry, General Griffin, commanding First Division, and General Winthrop, commanding First Brigade, Second Division.*

The moonlight night served to reform the brigades, and at dawn of the 7th we were ready for whatever might be offered by the enemy. At daylight changes in the brigades were begun successively so as to bring all of each division together. This was effected by 10 a.m.; and the enemy having made no demonstrations I ordered General Crawford to move out from our right near Armstrong's Mill and attack the enemy. This was promptly done. The enemy's pickets were found on the same entrenched lines as on the preceding day, but in stronger force. General Baxter's brigade drove them out. General Crawford having reformed his men I sent over two brigades of General Wheaton's division to secure his flanks, in case of a farther advance, which he was directed to make just before sunset. I did not think it proper to make more extensive operations in the severe storm which prevailed all day, having instructions not to do so without I was confident of great advantages. About 6 p.m. General Crawford again advanced and drove the enemy back to his line near Dabney's Mill, remaining part of the battle-field of the preceding day and burying those killed found there.

During the night I withdrew his command to this side of Hatcher's Run, to be able to make the disposition of troops contemplated by the commanding general, in making a new defensive line. General Crawford's division was the only one engaged this day and behaved most creditably. It lost in killed and wounded 175 officers and men, but drove the enemy arduous service and underwent severe exposure on this day. The prompt execution of orders and the good service rendered by the brigade of General Wheaton's division, engaged on the 6th, I most gratefully acknowledge.

I take this occasion to deny the newspaper correspondent's statement that this brigade fired into any of our troops. It was under my eye the whole time, and did not fire except upon the enemy. I would also state that there was no ammunition wagon abandoned on the 6th. I wish further to state that our falling back from Dabney's Mill under the fire of the enemy was, in my opinion, unnecessary and was against my orders; I had force enough to have held on longer. The enemy did


*Griffin's report not found. On February 16, 1865, General Griffin transmitted to corps headquarters the reports of his brigade commanders, with the remark that he submitted them "as my report of the movements of the troops under my command during the operations of the 5th, 6th, and 7th instant."