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[581] hour received orders from the division commander to move forward through the woods and attack the enemy, that had just driven the force in front of us from those woods. I did so, leaving, by some misapprehension of the Lieutenant-Colonel commanding, for which no blame can be attached to him, the Eighth Ohio, which remained supporting the battery on our right. We engaged the enemy, consisting of about eight battalions, some thirty yards in the woods, received one volley from them, fired at random, and drove them at a quick pace through the woods over the plankroad and out of their rifle-pits. Some thirty yards beyond their pits they had a column of at least a division massed, who also started in retreat when the first line reached their, but, perceiving our small number, they turned and drove us back, at the same time opening a battery on the plank-road, enflading us with grape and canister.

In their rifle-pits we captured two stand of colors, had possession of a large quantity of small arms and ammunition, lying in boxes in front of their works, and captured one major, five captains, seven lieutenants, and two hundred and seventy enlisted men, and released a regiment of Zouaves belonging to the Third corps,1 that were held as prisoners behind those pits.

In my opinion, had we been supported by a division, we could have retained possession of the plank-road. In retiring through the woods they followed us slowly and at long-range, doing but little damage with small arms, but playing upon us heavily with shell. We met Caldwell's brigade going to the front as we were emerging from the wood retiring.

The Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New-Jersey Jersey afterward moved in on our right, separated from us by the First Delaware, One Hundred and Thirty-second Pennsylvania, of another brigade, and consequently not knowing of their movement, or being able to see them, on account of the thick underbrush, I could not supervise them. They joined me after I came out of the woods retiring. It was about three hours and a half from the time I formed in line to move forward until I returned. My men behaved in the most gallant style, and I had much more trouble to make them retire when it was found useless to advance than to move forward. The pioneer corps, under the command of Capt. N. Willard, was formed across the road to stop flying stragglers. They took possession of our prisoners as they were brought out of the woods and turned them over to an aid of Gen. Patrick, and rejoined me at the same time with the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-eighth New-Jersey.

We then reoccupied our rifle-pits for about an hour, when I was ordered to move to the left and occupy the position at right angles to our rifle-pits, pits, which General Sykes's division had formerly occupied. In moving to this position we were heavily shelled by the enemy and met with some loss. The rest of the day was occupied by us in constructing rifle-pits along his line. Skirmishers were placed about six hundred yards in front of my works, connecting with Gen. Hancock on the right and the Eleventh corps on my left.

At five P. M., on the fourth, the enemy shelled our rifle-pits for about half an hour, doing no damage. About twelve o'clock midnight there was an alarm caused by a portion of the Eleventh corps firing at an unseen and unheard of enemy.

Between nine and ten o'clock A. M., the fifth, a reconnaissance of the enemy in our front drove our pickets some three hundred yards, but sending out a reenforcements forced them to retire. At eight P. M. received orders to be ready to move back toward United States Ford. At three o'clock A. M. of the sixth, was put en route for the rear, crossing United States Ford about five A. M., marching to our old camp, which we reached between eleven and twelve.

Where all, both officers and men, behaved so gallantly, it would seem invidious to particularize, and as it would require too much space to record the personal gallantry of even the commissioned officers, I will confine myself to the mention of the cool judgment and indomitable courage of Colonel Corns, Lieut.-Colonel Cavins, and Major Houghton, Fourteenth Indiana, Lieut.-Colonel Carpenter, (commanding,) Captain Jones, (acting Major,) and Capt. Grubb, Fourth Ohio; Colonel Snider, Lieut.-Col. Lockwood, Seventh Virginia. The preceding are the only regiments that went into action with me on the third.

My thanks are due to Capt. Fiske, A. A.A. G., (who was either killed or wounded and taken prisoner while carrying an order from me to the Seventh Virginia, on the plank-road,) Lieut. J. G. Reed, Eighth Ohio, A. A.A. General, Lieutenant Joe Carr, Fourth Ohio, and Lieutenant A. M. Van Dyke, Fourteenth Indiana, volunteers A. D.C., for their promptitude, gallantry, and valuable assistance in a trying emergency.

I would also state that no surgeon, or their assistants, except Assistant-Surgeon W. F. Hicks, Seventh Virginia, and no ambulance men or stretchers were furnished me from the time I formed the line to move forward until we came out of action. Surgeon McAbee, Brigade Surgeon, was detailed on the operating board at division hospital.

I found that a Sharp's rifle, furnished one of my men by the division commander, reached the enemy's sharp-shooters when none of our other guns seemed to have any effect on them. I would respectfully recommend that two companies of my brigade be armed with them.

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

S. S. Carroll, U. S.A., Commanding Brigade.


Official report of Colonel O. H. Morris.

headquarters Sixty-Sixth regiment N. Y.V., camp near Falmouth, Va., May, 1863.
sir: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of this command in the recent movements of the army on the Rappahannock.

April twenty-eighth, at about seven o'clock


1 General Sickles's corps.--Ed.

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