General Owen's official report.
headquarters Third brigade, Third division, Second corps, February 8, 1864.I have the honor to report that on Saturday, the sixth instant, at seven o'clock, I marched my command in the direction of Morton's Ford, in accordance with orders received about three hours previous to that time. I arrived at the headquarters of the cavalry reserve within half a mile of the ford, at ten o'clock A. M., and halted. At thirty-five minutes past ten, I received orders to cross the river, which I succeeded in doing, and pushed the enemy back about half a mile; and then, under orders not to press the enemy too hard, but to skirmish with him, if he appeared so disposed, I halted my advance, and made my disposition to hold the favorable ground which I had taken. In a short time, the enemy began to concentrate troops in my immediate front, and to advance a stronger line of skirmishers. I communicated this fact to corps headquarters, through the signal officer, and asked for reeinforcements. At ten minutes past three P. M., Colonels Carroll and Powers reported to me, by order of General Hayes, and I massed their brigades (First and Second, of the Third division) under cover from the enemy's fire, and in a position whence they could be readily deployed to the right or left, as circumstances might require. The enemy kept up a vigorous fire of small-arms during the day, and, at intervals, a heavy artillery fire from a battery in position on his left. Fresh troops were arriving continuously, and in great haste. At twenty minutes past five P. M., the enemy opened with a heavy fire from his batteries, and shortly afterward advanced and attacked vigorously our right and right centre; but it was futile, as, under the personal supervision of the General commanding the division, the enemy was met and repulsed at all points. At fifty minutes past seven P. M., I was ordered to hold myself ready to recross the river, which I did at half-past 11. All the troops behaved well. I am satisfied with the Third brigade. It will do its duty, and never disgrace the Second corps. The passage of the river, under the enemy's fire, I consider as worthy of special notice, and I specially mention the good conduct and gallant bearing of my Adjutant-General, Captain Robert S. Seabury, who was the first to cross the river at the head of the three hundred picked skirmishers, and to drive the enemy back from the riflepits, capturing twenty-seven men and two officers. My loss was two officers wounded, and three men killed and thirty-three wounded, which is remarkably light under the circumstances; and I believe that the enemy suffered much more severely. The Thirty-ninth New-York volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hughes; the One Hundred and Eleventh New-York Volunteers, Colonel Luck; the One Hundred and Twenty-fifth New-York volunteers, Colonel Crandell; and the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth New-York volunteers, Colonel Bull, were handled by their commanders with skill and judgment, and behaved splendidly. I am indebted to Captain Joseph Hyde and Lieutenant P. C. Rogers, of my staff, for their prompt and intelligent conveyance of my orders to different portions of the line. I am, sir, with great respect, your obedient servant,