Today in History:

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


to the James River. The troops bivouacked in this position during the night of the 12th, and at 12 m. on the 13th moved to the turnpike and went into position in front of the enemy's works, on the extreme right of the Tenth Corps, joining the left of the Eighteenth. In accordance with the orders of the division commander, I threw forward a strong line of skirmishers, which was constantly engaged with the enemy, until daylight revealed the fact that their first line of works had been evacuated during the night. The fact was at once reported and the works entered by the skirmishers, who were soon followed by the main body, which then took position in front of the enemy's second line, two regiments being held in reserve about 300 yards in rear. Heavy skirmishing followed, continuing during the 14th, the enemy meanwhile using his artillery freely. On the morning of the 15th, my right flank having been exposed by the withdrawal of Brooks' division, of the Eighteenth Corps, the enemy got upon that flank, and although attacking vigorously was handsomely repulsed. I was then re-enforced by the Third and One hundred and forty-second Regiments New York Volunteers, of the First Brigade. Meanwhile the One hundred and seventeenth had been relieved from my left, and Colonel Henry deeming himself in a precarious situation, owing to the retreat of the Sixth Connecticut, also withdrew his regiment, the Fortieth Massachusetts. This opened my left, which I at once reported to Brigadier-General Turner, commanding Second Division. Before I could hear from him in reply, the enemy appeared in force on both flanks, displaying three battle-flags on the left and the same number on the right, and attacking fiercely, the fire on the extreme right being on the flank and in reverse. At this time I was near the center of the line, when my left suddenly gave way, but was at once rallied, and, returning to its old position, succeeded in temporarily repulsing the enemy, recapturing most of the prisoners and taking a number in return. I was then directed to retreat, which I succeeded in doing in better order than could have been expected under a very heavy fire, bringing off most the dead and wounded.

Inclosed I send a list of casualties* amounting to 217, including officers, 2 of whom, among my most valuable, were killed.

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


Colonel Forty-eighth New York Vols., Second Brigadier

Captain P. A. DAVIS,

Asst. Adjt. General, Second Div., Tenth Corps.


Itinerary of the Second Brigade, Second Division, Tenth Army Corps, May 4-31.+

May 4.-Brigade left Gloucester Point, Va., and proceeded to Bermuda Hundred, on the James River, joining the forces under Major-General Butler, Major General W. F. Smith [Q. A. Gillmore] commanding the corps and Brigadier General J. W. Turner commanding the division.

May 7.-The brigade was placated Colonel Barton to advance on the Petersburg and richmond Railroad. Facing the brigade


*Nominal list omitted.

+From return for May.