Report of Brigadier General Henry Baxter, U. S. Army, commanding Second Brigade, Third Division, Fifth Army Corps, of operations February 5-7.
HDQRS. SECOND BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION, FIFTH CORPS,
February 16, 1865.
MAJOR: I have the honor to forward the following report of part taken by this brigade in late movement near Hatcher's Run:
Brigade moved from camp on Jerusalem plank road in light marching order early on morning of 5th instant, First and Third Brigades in advance, marching west to Halifax road, thence south on said road about two miles, leaving this road to the left, still marching south, crossing Rowanty Creek and bearing westerly to Vaughan road and Gravelly Run farm. Here was directed by the general commanding division to halt, mass brigade, and await the passing of wagon train. After remaining about one hour, received orders to remain for the night and to guard well the approaches from all directions. The Thirty-ninth Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel Tremlett, was immediately placed on picket, forming connection at Gravelly Run with pickets of Second Corps and extending to the left around our position to near Vaughan road. Detachments of Eleventh Pennsylvania were sent to guard approaches on left of Vaughan road, which were soon relieved by First Brigade, as was a portion of Colonel Tremlett's line by Third Brigade having returned to this position. Remainder of brigade formed line of battle and bivouacked. Early on morning of 6th moved back, crossing Hatcher's Run on Vaughan road about 8 a. m. and massing on north bank of stream. About 2 p. m. recrossed Hatcher's Run, First and Third Brigades in advance, moving to the right, First Brigade soon encounterng enemy's pickets and driving them for near a mile to vicinity of Dabney's Mill. I was directed to move forward and form connection with First Brigade, to form two regiments in extension of line of said brigade to left. Thirty-ninth Massachusetts and Sixteenth Maine were moved forward. Ninety-seventh New York, Eleventh Pennsylvania, and Eighty-eighth Pennsylvania formed to left and rear. The line immediately advanced, encountering a heavy fire, but succeeded in driving the enemy and occupying Dabney's Mill. The rear line was immediately moved forward and the position held for some time, until, the enemy receiving heavy re-enforcements, we were pressed back some 200 yards, when it was checked and soon moved forward, reaching the position we had left. We were again forced back, the enemy being again heavily re-enforced, and the troops on our left being forced back, subjecting us to a galling flank fire. The line was again checked, about 200 yards to the rear, and the enemy checked in their advance. Was here directed to throw up a slight protection of logs, and succeeded in partially doing so. The brigade had expended all their ammunition and was awaiting a supply which had been ordered forward. It was near dark when a persistent attack was again made by the enemy, and the troops giving way on our left, the brigade fell back in some disorder. Brigade was massed on south side Hatcher's Run and remained until morning of 7th. About 9 a. m. morning of 7th received orders to move out, taking advance of division and moving beyond work occupied by First Division toward Dabney's Mill. On arriving outside of works was directed by the general commanding division to deploy double line of skirmishers, which was immediately done, the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts,