attention is called to that part of Lieutenant-Colonel Wright's report relative to the inefficiency of the stretcher corps.
Much to my surprise I received notice about 9 o'clock the next day that some of the wounded had not been removed from near Battery Numbers 8, which fact I immediately communicated to the adjutant-general.
I am, captain, with much respect, your obedient servant,
JOHN H. HOLMAN,
Captain SOLON A. CARTER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
Report of Colonel Samuel A. Duncan, Fourth U. S. Colored Troops, commanding brigade, of operations June 15-19.
HDQRS. 2nd Brigadier, 3rd DIV., EIGHTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, June 25, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I have the honor to make the following report of the part taken by this brigade in the operations before Petersburg from the 15th instant to the 19th, inclusive:
The brigade broke camp near Point of Rocks, Va., on the evening of the 14th, crossed the Appomattox on the pontoon bridge at Broadway at 11 p. m., and went into bivouac, reporting to the division commander, Brigadier General E. W. Hinks. At 3 a. m. of the 15th the brigade moved out toward Petersburg on the middle road, its march being somewhat impeded by the passage of the First and Second Divisions of the Eighteenth Army Corps. The effective fighting force of the brigade on the morning of the 15th was about 2,200 men.
Three miles from Broadway the progress of the column was arrested by the fire of a rebel battery posted on Baylor's farm, a mile in advance. A reconnaissance by General Kautz's cavalry developed the position of the enemy. It was naturally one of very considerable strength, being the crest of rapidly rising ground 300 yards in rear of an exceedingly difficult road. The wood deserves special mention. It was about 600 yards in depth and was traversed by a turnpike and a railroad in directions diagonal to that to be followed by an attack upon the enemy's works. These roads in places were deep cuts, and proved a serious obstacle to the advance of a line of battle. Moreover, the bottom of the wood was marshy and obstructed with fallen timber and covered with a dense thicket of vines and bushes twenty feet high.
A hastily constructed earth-work with a connected line of rifle-pits, crossing the road at night angles and running along the crest nearly parallel to the outline of the wood, added much to the natural strength of the position, and rendered the enemy's occupation of this point a serious obstacle to farther progress.
Behind this parapet the enemy was posted with four pieces of artillery and a considerable force of infantry. This brigade was formed in line of battle in front of the wood with orders from General Hinks to move through and taken the enemy's works. The Fifth Regiment, Colonel Conine, held the right; the Twenty-second, Colonel Kiddoo, the right center; the Fourth, Lieutenant-Colonel Rogers, the left center; and the Sixth Regiment, Colonel Ames, the left. Colonel Holman's command formed the second line. The order given to each regimental commander