parties were divided into squads and one squad placed on the right of each division of the leading regiments to cut away the abatis and chevaux de-frise in front of the enemy's works.
Potter's division was formed on the left of the Jerusalem plank road and facing Fort Mahone. General Griffin, commanding Second Brigade Second Division, was to make the advance, and my movement was to conform with his advance, and to this end one of my staff officers remained on the left of the first regiment of my assaulting column and communicated with an officer of General Griffin's command.
At 4.30 a. m., just at dawn of day, the assault was made. My command moved forward in the most handsome and gallant manner, capturing the enemy's picket-line, and advanced to his main line, carrying all his works from a point a little to the left of the Jerusalem plank road, and for a distance of 400 yards to the right of the Jerusalem plank road (the line carried by my troops was known, by the enemy as Miller's Salient), capturing-pieces of artillery, 3 battle-flags, and a considerable number of prisoners. As soon as the line was carried the four reserve regiments were pushed forward to support the assaulting columns, which were much broken under the heavy fire of the enemy, and in passing through the enemy's abatis, &c. These regiments also suffered greatly from the fire of the enemy's artillery on the left of the works captured by the Second Division and from a two-gun battery of 8-inch howitzers in the rear of the lines captured.
The pioneer parties did their work most nobly and effectually; the wires connecting and binding together the section of chevaux-de-frise were cut and the sections pulled back inthe manner of opening a gate . This was very difficult to accomplish, and my men, suffering very much from the enemy's fire, grew impatient, and with a will large numbers of them seized the sections, and by main force opened passages as above indicated.
The guns captured were immediately turned upon the enemy, using their ammunition, and worked with effect by my men until artillerists, which were promptly forwarded, were sent to man them.
Seeing that farther advance was impracticable, the troops being much exhausted in advancing, and the enemy still holding a strong position in the covered ways and traverses and having possession of a two-gun 8-inch mortar battery, and one 8-inch columbiad battery, I placed my troops in the most advantageous position along the line of captured works and put them to work to make them tenable. Works were also thrown up in rear of the enemy's field-works to protect the artillerists who worked the guns. The ammunition left by the enemy was soon exhausted, but the demand was promptly supplied from time to time during the day by Brevet Brigadier-General Tidball, chief of artillery, and carried to the front under severe fire by troops of colonel Carruth, commanding Thirty-fifth Massachusetts Volunteers, and by detachments of my men.
Three determined charges to retake the works were made by the enemy during the day, one at 11.15 a. m., the second at 1.05 p. m., and the last at 3 p. m. In the latter charge the left of the line held by my command was forced to retire for a short time, owing to the fact that part of the works held by the Second Division were retaken by the enemy, giving him a sweeping flank fire on my left, but upon the advance of new troops on the left my men regained confidence, and the line was re-established. At 4. 45 p. m. the Second Brigade, First Division, Sixth Corps, Bvt. Brigadier General J. e. Hamblin commanding, reported to