Remaining on the ground that night and the next day, we buried our dead and 130 of the enemy's, and brought in the wounded of both parties.
On the morning of the 31st we moved up the Boydton plank road, land upon this nearly to Gravelly run crossing, taking position on the left of the division and the corps. A sharp engagement commenced to our right, which resulted in the troops falling back through our lines in great confusion. I was desired by General Griffin to regain the field which these troops had yielded. My men forded a stream nearly waist deep, formed in two lines, Major Glenn having the advance, and pushed the enemy steadily before them. Major-General Ayres' division supported me on the left in echelon by brigade, the skirmishers of the First Division, in charge of General Pearson, in their front. We advanced in this way a mile or more in to the edge of the field it was desired to retake. Up to this time we had been opposed by only a skirmish line, but quite a heavy fire now met us, and a line of battle could be plainly seen in the opposite edge of woods and in a line of breast-works in the open field, in force at least equal to our own. I was now ordered by Major-General Warren to halt and take the defensive. My first line had now gained a light crest in the open field, where they were subjected to a severe fire from the works in front and from the woods on each flank. As it appeared that the enemy's position might be carried with no greater loss than it would cost us merely to hold our ground, and the men were eager to charge over the field, I reported this to General Griffin, and received permission to renew the attack. My command was brought into one line and ut in motion. A severe oblique fire on my right, together with the artillery which now opened from the enemy's works, caused the One hundred and ninety-eighth to waver for a moment. I then requested General Gregory, who reported to me with his brigade, to move rapidly into the woods on our right by battalion in echelon by the left, so as to break this flank attack, and possibly to turn the enemy's left at the same moment that i should charge the works directly in rout at a run. This plan was so handsomely executed by al that the result was completely successful. The woods and the works were carried, with several prisoners and one battle-flag, and the line advanced some 300 yards across the White Oak road.
My loss in this action was not more than seventy-five, but it included some of my best officers and men.
It would be unjust not to mention the services of Major Glenn and Colonel Sniper in this affair, whose bravery and energy I relied upon for the successful execution of my plans. I would also express my obligations to General Gregory for his quick comprehension of my wishes and for his efficient aid. I may be permitted also the mention the gallantry of Captain Fowler, assistant adjutant-general of division, who rode int the hottest fire to bring my orders, having his horse killed under him in doing so, and who by his conduct and bearing showed an example worthy of all praise.
During the night we buried our dead and cared four our wounded, and bivouacked on the line.
The brigade left bivouac on the White Oak road early on the morning of the 1st and moved, with the rest of the division, toward Dinwiddie Court-House, until we met General Sheridan with his cavalry. We then moved in connection toward Five Forks. Arriving at a point near Gravelly Run Church we were formed on the right
54 R R-VOL XLVI, PT I