War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0258 N. AND SE.VA., N.C., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

twenty-three prisoners. This brigade pushed forward about half a mile and threw out a strong picket, while the bridges across the creek were being constructed under the personal superintendence of the major-general commanding. The bridges were completed about 4 p.m., when the whole command crossed and proceeded to the intersection of the Vaughan road with the Quaker road. Captain Cope, aide-de-camp, was directed to go forward on the road toward Dinwiddie Court-House and effect a communication with General Gregg's cavalry. This was done, Captain Cope meeting an officer from General Gregg, whom the latter had sent for the purpose. About the same time a connection was made on our right with the Second Corps. Griffin's division was sent out about half a mile on the above road, taking position on the Chappel farm. Ayres' division was posted on the Quaker road, while Crawford's division was stationed on the Vaughan road, the trains and artillery being parked near him. About 5 p.m. heavy firing was heard in the direction of Hatcher's Run, the Second Corps having engaged the enemy near Armstrong's Mill.

About 9 p.m. orders were received from the major-general commanding the army to move up at once to the crossing of the Vaughan road over Hatcher's Run. The command was put in motion, Griffin, with the trains, leading. Ayres followed with the artillery, Crawford bringing up the rear, and soon after daylight, February 6, the troops and trains arrived at the point designated. The infantry were placed in the breast-works near the crossing of Hatcher's Run. General Gregg with his cavalry was directed to cover the Vaughan road as far as the crossing of Gravelly Run. Winthrop's brigade, of Ayres' division, was sent to the support of the cavalry, and went into position on the right of the Vaughan road near the Keys house. About 1.30 p.m. the enemy made his appearance in considerable force on our left. About 2 p.m. Crawford's division was advanced up the Vaughan road in the direction of Dabney's Mill, Bragg's brigade leading. The enemy was discovered in rifle-pits about 800 yards in front of our breast-works. A sharp picket-fire was delivered by the enemy, who quickly left his pits and retired to his own rear. General Ayres, with two brigades of his division, coming up at this time was sent to support Crawford. About 3 p.m. I was sent by your orders to the left to communicate with General Gregg on the Vaughan road. I found him on the left of the road, not far from the Keys house. Our troops had been forced back by the enemy for a short distance, but had reformed in good order, and at the time I was there were maintaining their ground and fighting bravely. General Gregg told me that he had called on General Griffin for support, and on my return I met Brevet Brigadier-General Sickel with the First Brigade, First Division, marching down the road to the battle-field, conducted by an officer of General Gregg's staff. I reported the condition of affairs on the left to Major-General Meade, and immediately after to yourself in the rear of the line of battle, a little past 4 p.m.

You left me in open field just east of the wooded crest overlooking the run, with instructions to remain there while you proceeded to the front. Shortly after stragglers began to break to the rear in considerable numbers. I deployed the provost guard of the corps across the field, and also used the cavalry escort in the same duty. Perceiving a mass of troops with colors retiring through the wood to the left of the open, I rode toward them to see who they were. I found a large portion of General Gwyn's (Third) brigade, Second Division. I ordered them to halt and form. General Gwyn coming up soon after said his