o'clock I was ordered by the general commanding to advance with my division and make a demonstration in order to divert, but not attack, the enemy, while Hancock's Second Corps would attack on the left of the Eighteenth. Again I moved Stannard's and Stedman's brigades over the same ground as on the preceding night, and moved forward the Second Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery in the intervals as supports to the two brigades on my flanks. We advanced quite to the enemy's intrenched lines again, and were in position to have assaulted them. The enemy's battery on Archer's Hill again opened on my command as we advanced, but the guns from our side, in the front at Jordan's Hill (taken the preceding evening), soon silenced them. After reaching this point it was made known to me by the commanding general that I could not be supported if I held the ground until morning; that he did not deem it judicious to attempt to hold it under such circumstances, but left it the propriety of withdrawing, and retired my command without any difficulty and in unbroken order to the position from which they started. On the 17th of June I was under orders to return to Bermuda Hundred (where Brook's division and the commanding general of the corps had returned) as soon as I should be relieved by the Ninth Corps. While awaiting the arrival of troops to relieve me and Hinks' division of colored troops I received a circular from General Meade informing me that the Ninth Corps would assault the enemy on following morning; that neither my division nor General Hinks' could be relieved, and ordering us to hold our commands in readiness to co-operate in the attack on the following morning.
On the morning of the 18th I received orders from General Meade, in which it was communicated that the lieutenant-general had directed the movement to unite my division and General Hinks' with Neill's division, of the Sixth Corps, and to move forward against the enemy, joining the Second Corps on the right, the three divisions to be under command of the senior division commander. Being senior in rank, I assumed command of the three divisions and of the brigade of artillery attached to the Sixth Corps, commanded by Colonel Tompkins. Immediately I moved forward Stedman's brigade along the line of the Petersburg and City Point highway, followed by Stannard and two battalions of Gibson's regiment. Duncan's brigade, of Hinks' division, was ordered to follow up the railroad along the route of the railroad. General Hinks remained with his battery at the junction of the Spring Hill road, with a portion of his command to guard the battery and watch the river. I also detached one battalion of Gibson's regiment and left with him for a like purpose. As we advanced we were again assailed by the battery on Archer's Hill, but it was soon selected by Hinks' guns. In this order I advanced to Harrison's Creek. The enemy was strongly posted on the opposite bank at PAGE's house. Here I formed my line as follows: Neill's division on the left, with Wheaton's brigade in advance. As they advanced their left rested on the City Point highway. Stedman on Neill's right, with skirmishers extended to the river, and supported by one battalion of heavy artillery; Stedman's whole line supported by Stannard; one battalion of heavy artillery on the right of the highway and along the intrenchment built by the enemy, and extending along the peninsula north of Harrison's Creek. Duncan's brigade of colored troops I brought forward to the same line with the last-named battalion of heavy artillery, but located it on the east side of the highway, in easy supporting distance of Stannard and Stedman.