War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0782 N. AND SE. VA.,N. C.,W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania (Captain F. B. Stewart), the whole under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Burns, the ranking officer. These three regiments were formed in line of battle, and advanced across and open field steadily and in good order, without and swearing at first the fire of the rebel pickets (which were in the edge of the woods in front), until at very short distance, when all the line charged and carried the pits, capturing some prisoners. While the line of battle was reforming under and oblique fire of the enemy, briskly answered by a flanking company, the moon went down nd the men found themselves in a dense wood obstructed by slashing and unable to see their way in the complete darkness of the night. At that time I received instructions from General Mott to limit my attack to a reconnaissance and to withdraw when it would be accomplished. The firing directed on my men, and which had been going on all this time, having satisfied me that the enemy was in force, I sent an order to Lieutenant-colonel Burns to fall back to the entrenchments. This was accomplished in excellent order, the line of battle emerging from the woods and retreating slowly across the field, never breaking in any part until it resumed its position behind the breast-works. Great credit is due to Lieutenant-Colonel Burns. Lieutenant-Colonel weygant, and Captain F. B. Stewart, for the handsome manner in which all the operation was conducted. This was the first of a series of similar attacks which succeeded each other during the night, keeping the enemy on the alert and in force on our front. Our loss in that attack was eighteen men; Captain Cormick, One hundred and twenty-fourth New York, was unfortunately killed while gallantly leading his men forward.

April 2, at 2 a. m. I received orders to withdraw my command and to occupy a new position on the Boydton road, in the breast-works, extending from the swamp in front of Rainey's house to Butler's house, across the road, supporting four batteries of artillery. While the brigade was moving the enemy made a brisk attack in front of our left. Three of my regiments which were still in the woods formed in line of battle in front of our left. Three of my regiments which were still in the woods formed in line of battle, and three others which were crossing the filed in the rear of the entrenchments, seeing them unoccupied and the artillery without immediate protection, formed themselves behind the breast-works until the attack has subsisted. This occasioned some delay in movement ordered, but by daybreak all the brigade had assumed its new position. Still my left did not extend as far as Butler's house, and I had to send two full companies of the First Maine Heavy Artillery to support the battery stationed there, until a detachment of 450 men from the First Division, returning from fatigue detail, were ordered to report to me, soon followed by the third Brigade, Second Division (General Smyth), which was massed in my rear, and made our left perfectly safe. About 11 a. m. the attack of the Ninth and Sixth Corps having been successful in front of Petersburg, and the enemy having left in haste the works in front of us, we marched forward, penetrating his line at Burgess' Mills and following the Boydton road until in the immediate vicinity of Petersburg, when I was directed to form in line of battle, connecting on my left with the Sixth Corps at --- house, and with the Twenty-fourth Corps on my right. Some shelling and light skirmishing took place there, wounding some few men, and we bivouacked in that position.

April 3, followed the enemy by the River road, my brigade leading, with the Seventy-third New York Volunteers as advanced guard. Our skirmishers and flankers captured during the day over 300 prisoners scattered in the woods. Bivouacked beyond Mannborough.