Veteran Volunteers was attached to my command on the 5th instant, and its movements are included in this report. The brigade, having 59 officers and 1,301 muskets, making a total of 1,360, moved from camp at 6.30 o'clock on the morning of the 5th instant, following the First Brigade, under General Bragg, and after a march, variously estimated at from fifteen to eighteen miles, halted near --- Mills, on Gravelly Creek. Pickets were established, and the men had built fired and were preparing to bivouac, when orders were received to retrace our steps for the distance of two miles in order to form a junction with the Second Brigade, under General Baxter. This was accordingly done; the troops, though greatly fatigued with their long march and suffering with intense cold, exhibited the greatest good feeling and cheerfulness. I at once forwarded a strong line of pickets in our front, and extended them to a swamp on our left, having advanced posts on the road near --- Mills. The duty of establishing the pickets was instructed in its details to Lieutenant-Colonel Jack, who discharged the duty in a manner altogether satisfactory. This officer deserves credit also for the handsome manner in which he withdrew his pickets the next morning. To appreciate the difficulties under which this officer labored and the delicate task he had to perform, it is only necessary to state that he was totally unacquainted with the ground, which was much broken and covered with a dense wood. It may be stated here also that it was currently reported among the troops, and generally believed, that we were in the immediate vicinity of a division of rebel infantry.
On the morning of the 6th, before daylight, the brigade was again placed in motion and marched to Hatcher's Run, where with other troops of the division it was bivouacked on the right bank. Early in the afternoon we recrossed the run and filed off through a woods in a northerly direction. The First Brigade was in the advance, and on reaching a cleared field, distant perhaps a quarter of a mile from our bivouac, the First Brigade was deployed and advanced in line of battle into the woods beyond, and at once became engage with the enemy's skirmishers. My command was now formed in line of battle, perhaps 300 yards in rear and overlapping the left of the First Brigade, my right and left being a little refused, and in this order advanced. The Second Brigade subsequently took position on my left. General Bragg was now actively engaged in our front, and I diminished the distance between the brigades to about 100 yards. The left of the First Brigade being driven back and falling considerably to the right, my front became entirely uncovered, and I ordered the troops at once into action. The several regiments advanced in handsome style at the double-quick, and drove back the advancing enemy for a considerable distance into a wood beyond a small cleared field.
The fighting was now heavy and continuous, and our losses very considerable. This line was held by us until the troops fell back, late in the afternoon, though the bulk of our ammunition had long before that time been exhausted. The enemy repeatedly pressed forward in our front, but was as often repulsed. It was here that all our losses occurred, and it may give some idea of the fierceness of the contest when it is told that our losses number 1 officer killed and 9 wounded, and 22 men killed and 171 wounded, a total of 10 officers and 193 men killed and wounded on this single line of battle without our yielding a foot of ground.
Our ammunition failing and the enemy being largely re-enforced, as it now appears, the troops became restless under a galling fire without the means of returning it, and it required the greatest gallantry and