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No. 234 - Feb. 1865
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No. 234.

 

Report of Capt. William H. Trickey, Third New  Hampshire Infantry, of operations February 11.

 

HEADQUARTERS THIRD NEW HAMPSHIRE VOLUNTEERS,

Federal Point, N. C., February 12, 1865.

 

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to herewith submit a report of the part taken in the reconnaissance of the 11th instant by the Third New Hampshire Volunteers: I broke camp about 8 a. in., and moved with other regiments of the Second Brigade; marched up the beach about one mile, when I was directed by General Abbott, commanding brigade, to move my command to the front and deploy a skirmish line. I deployed the right wing, holding the left in reserve, Capt. J. H. Edgerly commanding skirmish line, and Lieut. G. H. Giddings reserve. General Abbott wished me to use my own discretion in maneuvering, and engage the enemy when I found them, but requested me not to press them so closely as to bring on a general engagement, and also to be careful if I crossed the lagoon near the head of Myrtle Sound, of our right flank, as the enemy might have a force in Half-Moon Battery, about half a mile farther up the beach. Moved forward, and when near the lagoon, no force appearing in the battery, we crossed by making a left half-wheel, then moving a short distance by the left flank. I then halted the line and with Captain Edgerly personally reconnoitered and found the enemy in some force behind the same rifle-pits captured from them on the 19th of January, with additional work on their left and abatis in front. We decided to strengthen the skirmish line by sending Lieutenant Ackerman, with twenty men, to our left flank, which would enfilade the enemy on their right, and move forward. I did so, and when within a few yards of the pits discovered they were very well manned, but thought the firing was not very severe6. I was undecided for a moment what further course to pursue, as my directions were not to bring on a general engagement; but I knew if we remained as we were, in an open field, within thirty yards of an enemy well protected, we must suffer severely, and having entire confidence in the men, and knowing Captain Edgerly would do his work, 1 decided to charge the pits, and within perhaps three minutes we had possession of the work and sixty-four prisoners, which was nearly the number our line consisted of. The promptness of Lieutenant Acker- man in enfilading the left and Captain Edgerly in moving to the right on gaining the work rendered it impossible for the greater portion of the enemy to retreat. Lieutenant Giddings promptly moved up the reserve and planted our colors on the work, sent the prisoners to the rear, threw out vedettes, and proceeded to learn our casualties, which, to my surprise, I found to be only one man wounded in the head. This slight loss cannot be attributed to anything but the extreme prompt- ness and good conduct of the men in getting possession of the work after the order was given. The brigade now moved up and I was again ordered to advance. We were now in plain view of the enemy’s works. Moved a little to the right and across an open field and there met a severe fire ,but moved rapidly and obtained cover in the edge of a belt of woods, not more than sixty yards from the enemy’s works, which we found to be well manned. Here the undergrowth and swamp rendered it impossible for a farther advance with anything like concert or safety. I therefore halted and reported circumstances. The position was looked over by staff officers of General Abbott and General Ames. It was, I believe, decided that a farther advance with a skirmish line was impracticable, and the object of the reconnaissance having, I think, been accomplished, the line was withdrawn about sunset. I returned with my command to the rifle-pits and was ordered to remain on picket, the other force having been withdrawn. My casualties in the second advance was 1 man killed and 4 wounded. I beg leave to further say that in my opinion too much credit cannot be given Captain Edgerly and Lieutenant Ackerman for their conduct throughout the day, though I believe all did their duty.

 

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WM. H. ThICKEY, - Captain, Third New Hampshire Vols., Commanding Regiment.

 

Capt. E. LEWIS MOORE, Asst. Adjt. Gen,

2d Brig., 1st Div., 24th Army Corps.

 

 

SOURCE: The war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the Union and Confederate armies; Series 1 - Volume 47 (Part I); pages 922-923.

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