HDQRS. FIFTH MICHIGAN VETERAN VOLUNTEERS, October 30, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my regiment in the engagement of the 27th instant:
On the march to the point where the brigade was massed, near where we were afterward engaged, my regiment acted as flankers to protect
the right flank of the brigade. About 12 m. I received an order from the general commanding to take my regiment and the Ninety-third New York Volunteers to an advanced position to support one section of artillery, which I did, forming on the right of the guns in a very thick wood. After I had got the line of battle formed in this position I deployed three companies of the Fifth Michigan as skirmishers to the front, which orders to advance about 1,500 yards, which they did, and had not been three fifteen minutes, when the enemy’s skirmishers were seen advancing, and brisk skirmishing commenced on both sides. The enemy’s line of battle advanced and drove in my skirmishers, when the line of battle opened fire upon the enemy and checked him. Kept up this fire about ten minutes, when the line of battle to my right and left gave way and I was compelled to fall back. The right and left of the regiment had to cut their way out, as the enemy had got around both flanks; fell back to the road, where the regiment was formed in rear of the fence. Stopped the enemy and drove him back into the woods; recaptured the two pieces of artillery and brought them off the field. Here Captain Converse, of Company A, Fifth Michigan, deserves to be specially mentioned for his gallant conduct in taking one piece of this artillery out of the hands of the enemy. After these guns had been recaptured a part of the brigade advanced down the road to the old barn near the ravine, where there was a large number of prisoners taken, one color, and several swords. General Egan’s division advanced on one side of this barn and this brigade on the other, and these prisoners were captured between the two commands and sent to corps headquarters. In trying to get off the two pieces of artillery my adjutant fell mortally wounded.
The [following] are the casualties in the regiment on the 27th instant: 9 enlisted men killed, 5 commissioned officers and 46 enlisted men wounded, and 43 enlisted men prisoners of war.
Very respectfully submitted.
Colonel, Commanding Regiment.
Lieutenant C. W. FORRESTER,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.
- The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII, Part 1 (Serial Number 87), pages 373-374 ↩