War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0778 N. AND SE. VA.,N. C.,W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

April 3, the enemy having evacuated Petersburg during the night, the division crossed the South Side Railroad, and marched along the River road, the First Brigade leading, and our skirmishers nd flankers capturing a great number of rebels scattered through the woods. Bivouacked beyond Mannborough.

April 4, the march of that day was short one, the men being mostly employed in repairing the road for the passage of the artillery and the supply trains.

April 5, the march was resumed in earnest, and the roads being in a better condition the division reached Jetersville about sunset, where it was massed on the extreme left of the position occupied and entrenched by the Fifth Corps.

PART II.

April 6, the division moved at 7 a. m., in the direction of Amelia Court-House, and about 9 o'clock we had reached Salt Sulphur Springs. There Brevet Major-General Mott communicated tome his instructions. I crossed the run accordingly, deployed the Twentieth Indiana (Captain Shafer) as skirmishers, with the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York held as reserve; and bringing up the balance of the brigade I now engaged the enemy's rear force. General Mott wishing to judge by himself of my dispositions, joined me soon after behind the skirmisher;s line, where he was shot through the leg, and having turned over to me the command of the division was carried away from the field. At the time when I assumed command of the division the First Brigade (now under command of Colonel R. B. Shepherd) was forming incline of battle, its right on the road, with two regiments from the Second Brigade on the left extending to the creek, so as to be secured on that side against any possible flanking movement of the enemy. It was intended that we should connect on the right with General Miles; but the First Division, coming by another road, was still far behind, although its advanced skirmishers connected with my line of battle. Knowing that part of the enemy's trains was within our reach if we advanced promptly, I did not deem it necessary to wait for the First Division. I formed a strong regiment, the Fortieth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Cannon), on the right of the road, and the enemy falling back before our advance I pushed forward my line of battle close behind my skirmishers. The elan of the men was remarkable from the start and augured well for the success of the day. It hardly left time to the enemy to attempt a stand behind hasty breast-works erected around a farm-house before the whole was carried. Major-General Humphreys, commanding the corps, sent me then full confirmation of the instructions already transmitted to me by General Mott, urging the importance of pressing the enemy without loss of time, and on we went. The first stand that the enemy made with some result was by putting in position some pieces of artillery, supported by a cavalry force, which checked on the right the skirmishers of the First Division in open fields, while a very accurate shelling threatened to disturb our advance in the woods. But having found a favorable position for our artillery I directed a section of the Eleventh [Battery] New York Artillery to open from there on the enemy's cavalry, and a few shots well directed soon put an end to the resistance at that point. In the meantime Major-General Humphreys had come to our front and recommended especially the capture of the enemy's guns whenever an opportunity would present itself. This