HEADQUARTERS TWENTY-SECOND U. S. COLORED TROOPS,
October 29, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to make the following report regarding the movements of the Twenty-second U. S. Colored Troops since the morning of the 27th of October, 1864:
The regiment moved from Cox’s farm with the brigade to which it belonged at 5 a.m. October 27, 1864, taking the Kingsland road to the New Market; from thence to the Darbytown road, thence to the Charles City, thence to the Williamsburg road, where we arrived about 3 p.m. of the same day and took a position in column about half a mile west of the intersection of the route traversed by it on the road. Remaining a short time, we received orders to move over the West Point railroad and away parallel to it in the direction of Richmond. Out advance was undistinguished by anything of importance until we had gone about one mile up this road. At that point we were ordered to prepare to move on the rebel works in front. After some delay, occasioned by a misapprehension of the position of things, the regiment formed line; advanced through a dense belt of woods to a field, on the opposite of which the enemy was posted. From this point the regiment charged across, only to be repulsed. Some companies went to within a few yards of the enemy’s works, so near that we could plainly see that they were not heavily manned. Had the regiment left its recruits behind I think we could have gone in. They kept firing their muskets while advancing, and in the midst of the excitement broke and ran, causing the worst of confusion. I will say in behalf of these recruits that they
did well so far as they knew how, never having any drill of any account. They did not know how to act, and their conduct might have been foreseen. On the fall of Colonel Kiddoo, who was wounded while the regiment was charging across the field, I assumed command, did all I could to urge the men forward, and in the retreat endeavored to check them, which I accomplished. After we had fallen back about 300 yards, the line being formed, those of the wounded who could not get off being carried to the rear, the regiment retreated in good order and without molestation to the position occupied on the Williamsburg road prior to the attempt on the rebel works. After a short rest the line of march was taken up toward Deep Bottom and continued until we reached the Darbytown road, where we bivouacked for the night.
On the 28th, by an easy march, the regiment returned to its former position near Fort Harrison.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
I. C. TERRY,
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 818-819 ↩