772 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. [CH. My.
holding the balance in reserve to render our left perfectly secure, and
by the same order I remained in command of that portion of the line.
At 2 p. m. I withdrew the line, following the movements from the right.
Assembled on our left, joined the Seventh Regiment U. S. Colored
Troops, and returned to camp.
I have the honor to inclose copies of reports of commanding officers
of Seventh, Ninth, and Company A, Forty-first Regiment U. S. Colored
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
JAMES SRAW, JR.,
Capt. M. BAILEY,
Report of Col. James Shaw, jr., Seventh U. S. Colored Troops, of oper-
ations September 28-30.
HEADQUARTERS SEVENTH U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
In the Field, near Chaffin's Farm, Va., October 9, 1864.
CAPTAIN: In compliance with orders from the brigadier-general com-
manding, I have the honor to make the following report of the part
taken by this regiment in the action of the 29th and 30th ultimo :
On the afternoon of the 28th the regiment broke camp near Peters-
burg and marched to Deep Bottom, arriving at 3.30 a. m. on the 29th
instant. At 6 a. in. marched down the road in front of works and
formed in column of regiments in mass in the woods to the left. Crossed
from thence to the New Market road, and halted at noon near the line
of works now held by our forces. At about 2 p. m. we continued our
march down the New Market road and was ordered to form to the left
of the road in column by regiments in mass. I had passed down the regi-
ment directing this formation and had reached the center on my return,
when I found them moving to the right, and, hurrying to that flank,
found we had filed to the left on the Varma road and that the enemy
had opened heavily on our column with artillery. I was then directed
by the general commanding to form in "right into line" on the right of
the road and in a direction oblique to it, a slight descent in the ground
partially covering the line, then to charge and take an earth-work some
three-quarters of a mile in our front. Before the line was formed this
order was countermanded, and I was directed to send out four com-
panies as skirmishers for the same purpose. Companies C, D, G, and
K were designated for this purpose, Capt. Julius A. Weiss, the senior
captain, in command. Deploying these companies, Captain Weiss pro-
ceeded steadily to the front, under a heavy fire of artillery, and, as he
approached the works, charged into the very trenches, but was unable
to get farther. Not a man faltered, but all who did not fall reached
the work, charged boldly, and did all in their power to take it. They are
all missing. By direction of the general commanding I then sent for-
ward Company F, Captain Pratt, to get as near as possible and keep
the enemy off the parapets, that if possible some of the first detach-
ment might be able to escape after dark. About 5.30 p. m. a body of
the enemy charged the left flank of the Eighth U. S. Colored Troops,