To check the pursuit of the enemy, and to enable me to form a line of battle, I moved to the front with the One Hundred and Sixty-first New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Kinsey commanding, and deployed it as skirmishers at the foot of the hill I had selected for my line of battle, which was done in very gallant style, and enabled General Dwight, who commanded my First and leading brigade, to form his line across the road in the edge of the woods commanding the open slope in front. General McMillan, commanding the Second brigade, was formed in his rear as a reserve, and Colonel Benedict, commanding the Third brigade, was formed into line to the left. They had scarcely formed when the One Hundred and Sixty-first New York were attacked and driven in. At the same time my right was threatened, and General McMillan was ordered to the right and into line at nearly a right angle to General Dwight. The whole line opened on the enemy, who were driven back, and, the prisoners report with great, slaughter. During the fight a determined effort was made to turn the left flank, which was repulsed. Our loss in killed, wounded, and missing was thirteen (13) officers and three hundred and forty-three (343) men. Nothing but the high discipline and morale of my division enabled me to form the line of battle under such discouraging circumstances. At twelve o'clock midnight, we were ordered to fall back upon Pleasant Hill, about fifteen miles distant, and cover the retreat, which place we reached about half past 8 o'clock in the morning, leaving behind none of the many wagons which obstructed the road and impeded our march. On reaching Pleasant Hill, I went into line of battle, faced to the rear in the following order: The First brigade, General Dwight commanding, on the right, resting on a ravine which runs to the north of the town; Second, General McMillan, commanding Second brigade; Third, Colonel Benedict, commanding Third brigade. General McMillan was posted in the edge of a wood commanding an open field in front, and Benedict's brigade in a ditch, his left resting in an open field. I sent word twice to request that Benedict's left might be supported by a brigade placed in reserve or in line of battle. The Twenty-fifth New York battery was posted on the hill between the First and Second brigades. The whole line was about one half a mile in advance of the town. After establishing my line, General McMillan was withdrawn, and placed on the right and rear as a reserve, and his place was supplied by a brigade of General Smith's division. My pickets were skirmishing, and the shots few and desultory, through the day, and it was not supposed the enemy would attack. However, about quarter past five P. M. he emerged from the woods in all directions, and in heavy columns, completely outflanked and overpowered my left wing, composed of the Third brigade and a brigade of General Smith's command, which broke in some confusion, and enabled the enemy to get temporary possession of four pieces of artillery of battery “L,” First United States. My right stood firm, and repulsed the enemy handsomely, and the left, I think, would have done so but for the great interval which was left between it and the troops to the left,--leaving that flank entirely exposed,--and the fall of the gallant leader of the Third brigade, Colonel Benedict. I immediately ordered General McMillan's brigade from the right to the left on the open space in the rear of the line of the Third brigade, and ordered him to charge the enemy. Behind this line, most of the Third brigade rallied, some joining themselves to McMillan's brigade, and some to General Smith's command; all moved forward together, and drove the enemy's right flank more than a mile and one quarter. Seeing their right wing drive in and thrown upon their left wing, they renewed their attack with vigor upon my right, but were repulsed with great slaughter; and during the whole day, my right, which was in echelon in front of the rest of my line, held its ground against several determined assaults. Our losses this day were in killed, wounded, and missing, twenty-eight (28) officers and four hundred and seventy-three (473) men. As soon as they are received, I will forward the reports of brigade and regimental commanders, and take advantage of the opportunity to call to the notice of the Major-General commanding the officers and regiments which have most distinguished themselves. I have the honor to be, very respectfully, Your most obedient servant, (Signed)
W. H. Emory, Brevet Major-General, commanding.
headquarters Nineteenth army corps, January 17, 1865.“Official copy.” (Signed)
Duncan S. Walker, A. A. General.
Indorsement on Report by Major-General Franklin.
Brigadier-General Emory in the battles reported on. (Signed)
Wm. B. Franklin, Major-General, commanding.