Today in History:

101 Series I Volume XXXVI-II Serial 68 - Wilderness-Cold Harbor Part II


ence to this order, was opened on by a line of the enemy on my right and rear at about 500 yards, upon which I gave the command to move at double-quick, which, from the destructive character of the enemy's fire and roughness of the ground, caused the regiment to break in confusion. However, on reaching the earth-works, they rallied and returned the enemy's fire in good style, and drove them to cover. The fire from the rear being very destructive I found it impracticable to reform at this place, and ordered a farther retreat to the woods on the left of the earth-works, where I formed in line and advanced skirmishers. By order of General Terry, I retired from this position and again formed on the hill across the ravine, where I remained a short time and was ordered to retire with the brigade across the turnpike, where we remained in line some two hours, with two companies as skirmishers, when orders were received to return to camp, which I entered at 8 p. m. Every order received by me was executed by the regiment, and I forbear to particularize or specially mane any one where all behaved so well.

My loss during the period stated is as follows: Seven enlisted men killed, 3 officers and 49 enlisted men wounded, and 22 enlisted men missing.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant JOHN E. SHEPARD,

Acting Assistant Inspector-General.

Numbers 38. Report of Colonel William B. Barton, Forty-eighth New York Infantry, commanding Second Brigade, of operations May 7-15.

HDQRS. SECOND Brigadier, SECOND DIV. 10TH ARMY CORPS, In the Field, Va., May 8, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to report that in accordance with instructions from division headquarters, I yesterday morning reported with my command to Major General W. F. Smith, commanding Tenth Army Corps, and was by him directed to report to Brigadier-General Brooks, of that corps, under whose command I moved out some 3 miles on the Petersburg dirt road. I was there ordered by General Brooks to advance in the direction of the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, nearly due west, which I was to reach, if possible, and destroy. At this time the enemy's line of skirmishers was in full view on an open field near the supposed line of the railroad, the exact position of which I was unable to ascertain definitely. Our advance soon developed one of the positions occupied by the enemy on commanding ground near the crossing of the Richmond and Petersburg turnpike with the railroad.

In accordance with positive orders of Brigadier-General Brooks, I moved by the flank covered by a strong skirmishing force from the Forty-eighth New York Volunteers, and did not form line of battle until I had crossed the open space and the skirmishers were hotly engaged, and the enemy's artillery fire had become quite heavy and annoying. The difficulties of the ground, as we proceeded, were of the most discouraging character, the woods being almost impenetrable and much obstructed by fallen trees strong fences. It was also