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Doc. 138.-advance to young's Mill, Va.

Gen. Davidson's official Rfport.

headquarters Third brigade, Smith's division, camp near Lee's Mill, Warwick River, Va., April 12, 1862.
Capt. L D. Care, Ass't Adjutant-General:
sir: Having been directed by the General commanding the division to furnish a report of the operations of my brigade from the fifth instant to the present time, I respectfully state as follows:

The advance of the division from Young's Mill was formed by my brigade, the Seventh Maine, Col. Mason commanding, being deployed as a line of skirmishers in front, with a section of Kennedy's battery, Lieut. Cowan, following the road. The Thirty-third New-York, Col. B. F. Taylor, Seventy-seventh New-York volunteers, Col. McKean, and the Forty-ninth New-York, Lieut.-Col. Alberger, in the order named, moving in rear of this advance in column.

About four miles from Young's Mill, at eleven A. M., the enemy's pickets were driven in, exchanging occasional shots with our skirmishers; and a mile further on, through dense woods, we came in sight of an open space of the position of the enemy's line of earthworks in our front. The Seventh Maine, as skirmishers, were halted in the edge of the wood, about nine hundred and fifty yards from the works, the section of artillery placed in battery, and the Thirty-third, Seventy-seventh, and Forty-ninth New-York State volunteers, formed rapidly in line under the fire of the enemy's shell and canister. The left of the Seventh Maine were in an exposed position, being about five hundred yards from the smaller work, but partly concealed by the woods. Wheeler's battery, which followed my brigade, came into position on the right and left of our road, and opened on the enemy. My aid-de-camp, Lieut. Long of the Thirty-third New-York, who had climbed a tree for observation upon our left, reporting to me that two regiments were moving down upon our left flank, Lieut.-Col. Alberger, Forty-ninth New-York, was thrown back at an obtuse angle with the rest of my line to meet their intentions. With these disposals, we awaited the arrival and reconnaissance of Gen. Smith.

The troops of my brigade maintained their position as above stated until seven o'clock of the evening of the seventh, when they were withdrawn about one mile further in the rear. [500]

My casualties are as follows:

April 5.--One private of the Seventh Maine, and one of the Forty-ninth New-York killed, and two privates of the Seventh Maine, and one of the Forty-ninth New-York wounded.

April 6.--Three privates of the Forty-ninth New-York wounded severely; one officer, Lieut. George Gale, of the Thirty-third New-York, seriously wounded; one of the Seventy-seventh seriously wounded.

April 7.--One private of the Seventh Maine seriously wounded; one of the Seventy-seventh seriously wounded.

April 8.--One private wounded, Thirty-third New-York volunteers.

April 11.--One corporal, Seventh Maine, killed, and one private wounded.

The Forty-ninth regiment and a company of the Thirty-third New-York, the latter under command of Lieut.-Col. Corning, were much exposed to the fire of the enemy's rifle-pits while we lay in position.

I regret to state that Lieut. Swan, company A, and Bugler Brown, company D, Seventh Maine volunteers, were captured by the enemy on the fifth inst., being separated from their command by a swamp while skirmishing.

I desire to bring specially to the notice of the General the cheerfulness, obedience, and fortitude of the regiments of my brigade, lying as they did for fifty-four hours under the close artillery-fire of the enemy, two nights exposed to a violent storm, without an opportunity of exchanging a shot, except from light field-pieces, and bearing — some regiments of it-thirty--six hours duty as skirmishers to the front, and willing for more. I think the general commanding the division may well be proud of them, as I am, and trust to the successful exhibition of their other soldierly qualities when we meet the enemy closer.

I have no distinction to make among the regiments of my brigade. The duties of some were necessarily more arduous than those of others, and led them into more exposed positions; but when all behaved alike with the greatest coolness, gallantry, obedience, and fortitude, they are all equally deserving of my warmest gratitude and confidence, and I desire so to present them to the commanding general.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

J. W. Davidson, Brigadier-General.

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