HEADQUARTERS FIFTY-FIFTH VIRGINIA REGIMENT,
October 6, 1864.
I have the honor herewith to transmit a report of the part taken by the Fifty-fifth Virginia Regiment in the actions on the evening of the 30th and the morning of 1st of October, respectively, as follows:
On the evening of the 30th of September we moved forward by the flank, right in front, encountering difficult and boggy ground, tangled with brush and strong, matted undergrowth. Emerging from thence we formed line line of battle, but owing still to the intractable nature of the ground in front were moved by Colonel McComb by flank farther to the left, formed, and were ordered forward, but the difficulties of ground still increasing, we were compelled to move by flank to extricate us from the almost impassable jungle of tangled briers, grape-vines, and alder bushes. As we escaped from this position we moved froward, forming line as we advanced, no time having been allowed us to reform before advancing this second time. The delays consequent upon the difficult ground we encountered altered our relative position with respect to other regiments of the brigade, throwing us on the extreme left, in which position we reached the wood on the opposite side of the field. We entered the wood with lines tolerably well formed – as well, under the circumstances, as could reasonably be expected – and after
advancing some distance (say 200 yards) encountered a heavy force of the enemy, which we immediately engaged. The engagement lasted about thirty minutes, when the men giving way compelled me to retire to a line farther to the rear to reform, where we remained until ordered back to form line near the Davis house.
On the morning of the 1st of October we were ordered to move at 3 a. m., when we took up line of march for the left and halted at Battery Numbers 45, where we remained until daybreak, when we again moved, taking the Squirrel Level road until its intersection with our lines of earth-works, where we crossed, advancing into the open field, where we formed line of battle, and moved forward on the enemy’s position through a wood in front obstructed with abatis. In this wood we encountered a considerable force of the enemy, who were soon repulsed and retired to our line of fortifications – or, rather, theirs, since they (the enemy) now have them – when they opened a heavy fire, causing our troops to recoil, and producing great confusion in my regiment, the men of different commands mixing with it and straggling to the rear, causing the same effect in mine, in spite of the best efforts of myself and officers to rally and arrange it.
I will say, in conclusion, that the general conduct of the officers and men of my command during the first day’s fight is perfectly satisfactory, and that of the men on the second would doubtless have been equally so but for the recent effects of the previous evening.
Our losses in the two days’ operations, as shown per report, fully attest the correctness of this declaration.
I am, adjutant, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. B. FAUNTLEROY,
Major Fifty-fifth Virginia Regiment.
- 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 941-942 ↩