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open plain, advancing so far and with such ardor as to cause one of the enemy's batteries to be abandoned. This brigade was, however, compelled to fall back from this point by the approach of a large column on its right flank, which proved to be Birney's division of Stoneman's corps and Hooker's grand division. In a very few moments after ordering the advance of Lawton's brigade, I also ordered Colonel Walker forward with my own brigade, as I was informed Lawton's brigade would not cover the ied. The prize was virtually in the hands of these gallant men, being abandoned and within seventy-five yards of the place where they stood; but at this moment a heavy line of the enemy advanced on our right flank, (learned since to have been General Birney's division,) and seeing that all had been accomplished which was in the power of these men to do, I communicated to them the order to retire to the protection of the woods. In the heat of the contest these four regiments may have gone too fa
at enemy's troops were moving down the river on this side during the latter part of the night. Howe's pickets reported movements in their front, same direction. Still they have a strong force well posted, with batteries there. 12 o'clock M. Birney's division is now getting into position. That done, Reynolds will order Meade to advance. Batteries over the river are to shell the enemy's position in the woods in front of Reynolds's left. He thinks the effect will be to protect Meade's advar this order, of four divisions, numbering sixteen thousand five hundred men, as stated by them, without giving the number of Doubleday's division, which was nearly seven thousand more. The committee name only Meade's, Gibbon's, Doubleday's, and Birney's divisions, as those by which the attack was made and supported. They had it in proof, and in General Hardie's reports, that Newton's and Sickles's divisions also aided in that movement, while the divisions of Howe and Brooks also engaged the e
ssabaw, I found an expedition preparing by General Birney, to ascend a certain stream and sever the you will immediately prepare to accompany General Birney up the Ashapoo River. Captain Boutelle, U.r going is to act as a cover and feint. General Birney will land to-night at the mouth of Mosquitown with the vessels. Proposed route of General Birney. You will find General Birney on board General Birney on board of the Plato, a small side-wheel steamer. Hoping you will have a merry time, I remain respectf sent a boat to the point agreed upon with General Birney, with the expectation of communicating wited to the westward, and the whereabouts of General Birney. On her return, at three o'clock in the meutenant-Commander Stone to cooperate with General Birney, in his expedition to cut the Charleston aMay twenty-fifth. I immediately called on General Birney for instructions, telling him I had no pily out my orders; while under way an Aid of General Birney's came on board and informed me of the gro
. Dahlgren, Rear-Admiral, commanding S. A. B. Squadron. Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy. Report of Commander G. B. Balch. United States steam-sloop Pawnee, off Jacksonville, Florida, May 30, 1864. Admiral: I regret to have to report the capture of the Columbine by the rebels on Monday, the twenty-third instant, and under the following circumstances: By the enclosed communications you will perceive that two of our posts on the east side of the St. John's, left by General Birney, were captured by the enemy; and another, consisting of fifty men at Volusia, was in imminent danger of being captured. Information was received by General Gordon, at 11.40 P. M. of the twenty-first instant, who immediately asked my assistance in trying to save the post at Volusia. Upon consultation with the General, it was deemed by us advisable to send the Ottawa and Columbine up the St. John's — the former to go as far up the river as the depth of water would admit, and the latter t