Report of Colonel Charles W. Tilden, Sixteenth Maine Infantry, of operations February 5-11.
HDQRS. SIXTEENTH Maine INFANTRY VOLUNTEERS,
February 13, 1865.
In accordance with orders I have the honor to forward the following report of the operations of my regiment in the late movements near Hatcher's Run, Va.:
In compliance with orders from brigade headquarters the regiment, numbering 8 line officers and 223 guns (the last detachment of recruits, camp guard, and sick remaining in camp), broke camp about 7 a. m. on Sunday, February 5, moving out in light marching order and supplied with four days' rations. Reached Weldon railroad near Hancock's Station and moved from thence down the line of the road about two miles, then turned to the right on the Halifax road, crossed Rowanty Creek about 3 p. m., and proceeded to the Vaughan road about two miles southwest of Rowanty Creek. At this point the brigade formed a line of battle and bivouacked for the night, my regiment having the right of the line and my right resting on the road. Moved out on the Vaughan road about 4 o'clock in the morning of the 6th instant. Halted about 8 a. m. on the east side of Hatcher's Run and remained until 2 p. m. Then moved about two miles to the right, or southwest, when the brigade was formed in two lines of battle, my regiment having the center of the first line, with the Thirty-ninth Massachusetts on my right and the Ninety-seventh New York on my left. Advanced and engaged the enemy near Burgess' Mills, steadily driving him from his position. The left wing of my regiment became somewhat broken in advancing through the woods, owing to the dense thicket and swamp through which it was obliged to advance, but was immediately reformed on gaining the edge of the woods, and rushed forward, wresting from the enemy an elevated position formed from the debris of an old mill, which was held until the enemy came upon by left flank in strong force, compelling the line to retire some 200 yards, which it did in good order. In connection with the advance, I desire to bring to the notice of the general commanding the name of Color Sergt. Luther Bradford, who was wounded in the left arm (causing amputation of same) while gallantly bearing the colors in advance of the line, urging the men on to their work. This is the third time he has been wounded since his connection with the color guard of the regiment. Corpl. M. J. Grindle, of the color guard, is also deserving of special commendation for the bravery he displayed. Seizing the colors after Sergeant Bradford was wounded, he rushed forward in advance of the line and placed them upon the work above referred to. This act of bravery was performed in the presence of the general commanding the brigade. He, too, was wounded when we were obliged to fall back. Three times in succession the line of which my regiment comprised a part advanced, driving the enemy, and [was] as many times forced back by superior numbers. The last movement toward the rear was made late in the afternoon, and caused by the operations of the enemy in strong force on our left flank. Our line was re-established, however, after falling back a short distance, and the enemy who was just appearing at the edge of the woods driven back. This ended the operations for the day. The regiment bivouacked in the open field near Hatcher's Run, but a short distance from the scene of action. The casualties of the 6th instant are as follows: One officer, Lieutenant Gustavus Moore, Company E, wounded; 2 enlisted men killed, 34 wounded, and 11 missing; total loss, 1 officer and 46 enlisted men.