War of the Rebellion: Serial 108 Page 1243 Chapter LXIII. MISCELLANEOUS REPORTS, ETC.

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supporting his skirmishers with the balance of his regiment. Colonel Otis soon reported that he had skirmished through the woods on both sides of the railroad and discovered that the enemy's fortifications extended 800 yards beyond my left; that the front was flanked by two strong redoubts upon commanding ground, above which were two lines of rifle-pits. Reporting these facts to General Terry, he, with Major Brooks, of General Gillmore's staff, reconnoitered the position in person. Positions were selected for artillery, and Langdon's and the First Connecticut batteries were brought up and put into position. At the same time, to protect the gunners from the enemy's sharpshooters, the skirmishers of the brigade were ordered to advanced and drive the enemy into his works. It was now 2.30 p. m., and a battle of skirmishers commenced, which lasted until past 11 at night. Company after company from each regiment was sent to re-enforce the skirmish line until scarcely one was left in reserve. Our skirmishers took and held a line within 200 yards of the enemy's fortifications, repelling charge after charge, and finally compelling the enemy to hide himself behind his works, and for the most part during daylight keeping down his fire.

At 10.30 p. m. was repulsed the heaviest and most determined assault of the day. The last reserves of the Twenty-fourth and One hundredth had come up. All were in position with replenishing ammunition when a cloud of rebel skirmishers was discovered stealing upon our lines. They were allowed to approach within thirty yards, when the rebel commanding giving the order "Rally by platoons" charged with a yell. His platoons were annihilated by the close and rapid fire from the One hundredth, Twenty-fourth, and Tenth, delivered with deadly aim in the bright moonlight. There was nomore firing on that line for the night. The loss of the brigade in this combat of the skirmishers was 6 commissioned officers and 84 enlisted men. At 11 p. m. my three regiments at the front were relieved and bivouacked in the woods a short distance in the rear. Sunday, the 15th, was comparatively quiet, the brigade losing but one man during the day, but the impression seemed general that a serious attack by the enemy was impeding. The usual preparations were made in the Third Brigade, sixty rounds of cartridges per man were supplied, and two days' cooked rations. The teams, which came up at night with camp and garrison equipage, were not unloaded, but sent to the rear. On the morning of the 16th the brigade was under arms at 3.30. The attack commenced by piekct-firing on the right opposite our communications about 4.30 a. m., and soon after raged with great violence. I was ordered by General Terry to advance my regiments to the open space in front of my camps, forming line on the left of the Second Brigade. The One hundredth and [the] Twenty-fourth were formed in line as directed; the Tenth was held in reserve. The Eleventh Maine had been sent to the left of the railroad the night before to occupy the works upon the heights captured by us on the 13th. Soon after these dispositions had been made I received intimations from General Foster, chief of staff to corps commanders, that a charge was to be made upon the enemy's works by our whole force from right to left, which I was to be prepared for. The One hundredth was formed in the first line, the Twenty-fourth in the second, and the Tenth in reserve. The first line was advanced to the plowed field, within 500 yards of the enemy; s works.

At 7.45 a. m., the right of our lines being hotly engaged, I received an order from General Terry to push forward a strong chain of skirmishers vigorously, and impress the enemy, if possible, with the idea.