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[79] a train of like magnitude and value was moved so great a distance in the presence of the enemy, and in the face of so many material obstacles, with so trifling loss.

As soon as the train was fairly out of the way I brought the rear guard to this side, where I established my line of battle, along the crest of the creek, my left resting on the James river. On the fourth I called the attention of the General-in-Chief to the advantages of this line, and after an examination he was pleased to adopt it. The timber on the opposite side has been slashed down to the James, also in the ravine and up to the crest of the creek on one side, which is lined with rifle-pits and batteries. Numerous roads have been cut, giving free communication between the reserves and the front.

General Ferry, with Thirty-ninth Illinois, Thirteenth Indiana, Sixty-second and Sixty-seventh Ohio regiments, was assigned to my division on the sixth instant. The record of these troops in the Shenandoah Valley is highly creditable, and gives promise of brilliant conduct when opportunity offers.

General Naglee was entrusted with a highly responsible and trying command at Bottom's Bridge and the railroad, which he discharged with zeal and fidelity. His troops at Dispatch Station were brought in at the night time. His batteries and sharp-shooters inflicted severe punishment upon the enemy when pressing upon the approaches to the bridges. In consequence of the absence of General Naglee no report has been received from that brigade, and I am embarrassed with respect to the details thereof. His report, as soon as received, will be sent forward to accompany this.

General Wessell has labored most faithfully, night and day, since I joined the division, and displayed the greatest interest in the service, under very critical circumstances. In the midst of difficulties and dangers his judgment seemed most reliable..

General Palmer led the advance from the White Oak Swamp, and made excellent dispositions, of which I am happy to make mention. Colonel Russell, Seventh Massachusetts, was in advance of the advance as usual, and exhibited his anxiety to meet the foe with his fine regiment.

Colonels Farniman, Ninety-sixth New York; Lehman, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania; Rose, Eighty-first New York; Belknap, Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania; and Lieutenant-Colonel Durkee, Ninety-eighth New York, are all meritorious officers who have rendered the country good service, and exert a salutary influence upon their troops. Colonel Greggs, Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry, was of great assistance in these movements, scouring the country and watching the enemy. Captain Keenan, Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry, deserves especial notice for untiring and valuable services. When he was in the saddle no movement of the enemy escaped his eye. Lieutenant C. H. Morgan, Fourth artillery, displayed extraordinary zeal, pushing on many miles from Bottom's Bridge to join the advance to James river. He is an officer of merit.

As usual, all the members of my staff were active, and rendered great assistance. It is due to Surgeon A. B. Crosby, that I should acknowledge his untiring devotion to the sick and the wounded. That he should have deemed it necessary to tender his resignation is to be much regretted.

The artillery under Captains Regan, Miller, Brady, Fitch, Lieutenants Morgan and Mink, was in excellent condition and responded promptly to every call of duty. With such batteries I felt confident of more than ordinary success in any encounter with the rebels.

The severe labors that have devolved upon me since taking the division have prevented my finding out many deserving of notice, and I desire to thank every officer and soldier in the command for the cheerful and faithful manner in which they have discharged duties incessant and arduous, by day and by night. Chickahominy and White Oak Swamp will bear evidences of their industry for generations. While the late severe service has not been so brilliant as that which fell to other troops, it will even be deemed honor enough to have been a member of that division which held the troops of Jackson at bay across the Chickahominy, destroyed all the bridges, which led the advance of the Army of the Potomac from White Oak Swamp, and covered the rear safely during the great strategic movement from (Malvern Hill) Turkey Creek to Harrison's Point.

I am, very respectfully

Your obedient servant,

John I. Peck, Brigadier General, commanding Division.

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