780 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. '[Cann. LIV.
leaving two companies as pickets, who were to return to the intrench-
melds. On the 16th instant, in accordance with orders from Colonel
Wooster, I moved my regiment at 4 p. m. to near the picket-line, and
deployed them as skirmishers, just in rear of the pickets. About 6 p.
m. the order was given to move forward and take possession of the
Kingsland road, which I did, though not without meeting with some
opposition in the woods on the right. At 8 p. m. received orders to
withdraw, which I did without molestation from the enemy, and re-
turned to my camp. On the afternoon of the 17th moved with the
Twenty-ninth Connecticut, Colonel Wooster commanding, and recrossed
the river, crossing it at the lower pontoon bridge, and joined the re-
mainder of our brigade in the Tenth Army Corps. Early on the morn-
ing of the 18th, in compliance with orders from the general commanding
division, I moved my regiment to the extreme front, and was ordered
by Colonel Shaw, commanding brigade, to take position on the left of
the brigade behind the breast-works. There was some picket-firing in
my front during the fore part of the day, which settled into an attack
upon the pickets by the enemy about 5 p. m. At this time our pickets
were pressed back by the enemy's skirmish line and came running
within the intrenchments. On going to the right of my line, where the
firing at this time was heaviest, I discovered that the regiment that
had been supporting me on that flank had been withdrawn, leaving my
right wing entirely unprotected. I immediately deployed a company
to cover me in that direction as far as possible. The enemy pressed
forward to the works on my right and to the edge of the woods in my
front, but were soon compelled by the severity of my fire to retire.
They kept up continual skirmishing until late at night, but did not
again press back the pickets. During the remainder of the time my
regiment was on the north side of the river they were not engaged
with the enemy.
The conduct of my officers and men was all I could wish.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. E. WAGNER,
HDQRS. EIGHTH REGIMENT U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
Chafiln's Farm, Va., October 6, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report to the command-
ing general of the part taken by my regiment in the late movements
I received orders on the 28th of September to hold my command in
readiness to move at 3 p. m. About 5 o'clock it, with the balance of
the brigade, started, crossing the James River at Aiken's Landing, and
halted at 3.30 a. in. on the 29th at Deep Bottom. At daybreak we were
again on the move, and, with the remainder of the brigade, formed in
the woods to the right, experiencing a slight shelling. Shortly after
we again started and moved along the New Market road to its junc-
tion with the Mill road. Here we were formed in line of battle in front
of the enemy's strong position at Laurel Hill. I was ordered to advance
four companies, under Captain Cooper, to charge in a deployed line
on the fort in my immediate front. They advanced to within less than
200 yards of the works under a terrific fire of grape and canister.
Maj. R. S. DAVIS,