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4 Series I Volume LI-I Serial 107 - Supplements Part I

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Page 4 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

I should have reached that place if my march had not been interrupted, came to the same place, and General Peirce, who had ben with Colonel Townsend's regiment, also came up. General Peirce then assumed command of all the troops, and by his order I moved my detachment on to Great Bethel.

The enemy were found there intrenched in force. Pursuant to the order of the general, I formed my troops in line of battle in rear of Colonel Townsend's regiment. Previous to this General Peirce had taken from my command one- half of Captain Shepard's company (F), Little Bethel, taking the non- commissioned officers and twenty- one privates. After forming line of battle General Peirce directed that two of my companies be detached as skirmishers, to hold the woods upon our left and prevent a flank attack. The Eighth and Tenth companies of the First Vermont Regiment were detailed for that service and were thus entirely separated from my command. Immediately afterward Captain Clark's Rifles (Company M), of the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, and the residue of Captain Shepard's company were also detached by General Peirce and sent into the woods to act as skirmishers in connection with Colonel Duryea's regiment, and were thus separated from my command. I then received an order from General Peirce to move through the woods beyond the right of the Zouaves and attack the left flank of the enemy's battery. no other direction as to location was given, and no guide was sent with me. I moved through the woods, which were very close and tangled, and after considerable difficulty succeeded in placing my men in the proper position and opened fire. The attack by my men was very spirited, and the firing from both sides very warm. Soon after I commenced the attack the firing ceased upon every other part of the work, and the enemy's fire appeared to be concentrated upon us. While making the attack I was joined by Colonel Bendix with a body of his men, probably about sixty in all. After the firing had continued about twenty minutes the enemy brought their artillery to bear upon us with grape- shot, and finding that I was not supported by any fire or attack elsewhere, except an occasional fire from Lieutenant Greble's guns, I ceased firing and withdrew my men in good order under cover of the woods. There the companies became separated, so that in forming line I found with me only Captain Pelton's company of the First Vermont Regiment, and Captains Barnes' and Curtis' companies, of the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment, and a few men from the Fourth and Sixth Companies of the First Vermont Regiment. After remaining in line until all the men had come in from the point of attack, I returned with these men to the place where I had first formed. I then found that Colonel Duryea's regiment had retired and were then out of sight, and colonel Townsend's regiment was also retreating. All of my detachment assembled quickly, and I formed line of battle again upon the ground I had first occupied, and reported to General Peirce for further orders, and was told by him that he had ordered a retreat and was directed to retire with my command. I retired about fifty rods, and then halted until the wounded had been got ready for transportation and the two field pieces had been brought off. One I left with General Peirce and the other I moved off to the rear, when General Peirce informed me that the one left had been disabled, and directed me to leave the other for Colonel Allen's regiment, to cover the retreat, and I did so. Both were taken by General Peirce to Fort Monroe. I then assumed the return march, arriving in camp toward night.


Page 4 MD., E. N. C., PA., VA., EXCEPT S. W., & W. VA. Chapter LXIII.

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