On my left was Reed's battery; on the left of this still, the Second Brigade. Directly in my front in the enemy's line of works were three bastion forts, the center one of which afterward became known as the Red Fort, all strong earth-works, containing guns of heavy caliber. The intervening ground was nearly level, covered with fallen timber, and a line of abatis formed by the tops of trees. During the night of the 27th ultimo my front line was moved up to within about 500 yards of the enemy's works, and before morning the men were covered by a good rifle-pit, thrown up during the night. The next day was occupied in strengthening the main line and in throwing up defensive works in the various camps. On the evening of the 29th ultimo I commenced a sap from near my left, which was pushed with vigor until within about 150 yards of the enemy's works, where a parallel was constructed covering my front proper in the main line, and that of Reed's battery, connecting on the left with a similar work of the Second Brigade. Continuing my sap to the front a short distance farther, I dug another parallel for the right of my line, which threw it considerably in advance of the Third Division, and with which they did not succeed in connecting at any time during the siege. In these parallels strong bodies of sharpshooters and pickets were constantly kept on duty, and at night skirmishers were thrown out and advanced as far as possible in order to hold the ground and cover working parties. I continued my sap toward the Red Fort until I reached a point some sixty or seventy yards from it, where on the morning of the 7th instant I commenced digging another parallel. This brought my sharpshooters and skirmishers into close quarters with those of the enemy, and a sharp fire was kept up by both sides. I was engaged on this work until the night of the 8th instant, when about midnight hearing accidentally that the right of the Third Division had turned the enemy's left flank and were inside his works, I immediately ordered an advance of the skirmish line and the men in the rifle-pits, but on reaching the enemy's works they were found abandoned. A lieutenant and 16 men were captured on the enemy's picket-line.
In all the duties of the siege commanding officers of regiments and officers and men generally displayed that courage, endurance, and determination which always leads to success. To the officers of my staff I am again indebted for their prompt co-operation and faithful discharge of all duties. I desire, however, to call particular attention to my acting aide-de-camp, Lieutenant J. Barber, Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, who during the siege acted as my engineer and conducted and superintended the works in the saps and parallels. His duties there involved almost continued labor day and night, often exposing him to great danger, but they were performed with courage, fidelity, and energy, as his works will testify, they being nearer those of the enemy than any others along our entire line, as far as I have seen. I recommend him for promotion as captain and aide-de-camp. I am also indebted to Lieutenant Colonel C. G. Eaton, Seventy-second Ohio, for valuable services in digging my sap. You will please find transmitted herewith a list of casualties.*
I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
W. L. McMILLEN,
Colonel Ninety-fifth Ohio Infantry, Commanding.
Captain W. H. F. RANDALL,
Asst. Adj. General, First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps.
*Embodied in table, p.112.