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[259] the One Hundred and Twenty-seventh and One Hundred and Fifty-seventh New York, skirmishing. General Potter followed with the Fifty-sixth and One Hundred and Forty-fourth New York and One Hundred and Second United States Colored Troops, constituting the main line; then came the Twenty-fifth Ohio with axes to execute the work, and a reserve of the Thirty-second, Thirty-fourth, and Thirty-fifth United States Colored Troops. The Naval Brigade also took part. In this order, on that cold, raw morning, the troops having formed at 8.45 o'clock, ten pieces of artillery opened fire for fifteen minutes to clear the woods in front. Colonel Silliman advanced the skirmishers about half a mile and became engaged just before 10 A. M., the enemy replying briskly. General Potter supporting with the main line, the woodsmen from the West followed, felling the trees. This novel operation of war caused the familiar sound of battle to be allied on this occasion with that of falling timber crashing down to earth. The path of the forest reapers, twenty yards wide, could be plainly seen from the rear as the axemen advanced.

Our skirmishers moved to within six hundred yards of the railroad. General Potter was at the extreme front. Capt. W. C. Manning of his staff, ascending a tall tree to make a sketch of the ground, could see the railroad, and a Rebel battery firing, to the left. It was 3 P. M. when the lane, five hundred yards long, was cut through the belt of wood to an opening beyond. Suddenly, as we were about to withdraw, the enemy became bolder, and a regiment out of cartridges fell back, exposing the woodsmen of the Twentyfifth Ohio. Lieutenant-Colonel Haughton of that regiment ordered muskets unslung, and as the foe came on with their

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E. E. Potter (3)
William Silliman (1)
William C. Manning (1)
Nathaniel Haughton (1)
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