No. 221. Reports of Brigadier General Robert S. Foster, U. S. Army, commanding First Division.
HDQRS. FIRST DIVISION, TWENTY-FOURTH ARMY CORPS,
In the Field, Appomattox Court-House, Va.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of the First Division, Twenty-fourth Army Corps, from March 27 to April 10, 1865:
Pursuant to orders from the major-general commanding, at 5 p.m. March 27 my command broke camp, on the New Market road, on the north bank of James River, and during the night and following day moved across the James and Appomattox Rivers to a point about four miles from Hatcher's Run, where we bivouacked for the night. On the morning of the 29th the command occupied the line of works from Fort Sampson, on the right, to Hatcher's Run, on the left, vacated by the Second Army Corps. On the 30th, with some skirmishing, I advanced the Third Brigade, Colonel Dandy, in connection with General Turner's division on my left. On the morning of the 31st I advanced my skirmish line, supported by the division-the First Brigade, Colonel Osborn, on the right; the Fourth, Colonel Fairchild, in the center; and the Third, Colonel Dandy, on the left-driving the enemy from their entrenched picket-line into their main works, capturing about 325 prisoners, and establishing my line close proximity to their works. Brisk skirmishing was kept up during the whole day.
April 1, at 4 a.m. the enemy charged on the front of the Third Brigade, driving in their pickets and reaching our temporary rifle-pits with their colors, but were handsomely repulsed by that brigade, who captured about thirty prisoners, and immediately re-established their lines. During the night of the 1st I sent out scouts, and ascertaining that the enemy had moved a portion of their troops toward our left I made disposition of my command to assault the enemy's works at daylight on the 2nd, but the order was afterward countermanded.
At about 8 a.m. on the 2nd, pursuant to orders, I moved to the right through the enemy's works, which had been penetrated by the Sixth Army Corps, relieving General Hamblin's brigade of that corps, which moved to the left toward Hatcher's Run, I moving with my command in line of battle-the First Brigade, Colonel Osborn, on the right; the Third, Colonel Dandy, in the center; and the Fourth, Colonel Fairchild, en echelon on the left-inside the captured works in the direction of Petersburg, driving the enemy before me from several lines of works until we arrived at the strong double lines of forts around that city, into which works the enemy retired, Forts Gregg and Baldwin being on my immediate front. At about 1 p.m., pursuant to orders, I directed an assault upon Fort Gregg, which was gallantly made, and resulted in the capture of the work, with two guns and the entire garrison of 250 officers and men. The fighting on both sides at this point was the most desperate I ever witnessed, being a hand to hand struggle for twenty-five minutes after my troops had reached the parapet. Fifty-seven of the enemy's dead were found inside the work. Several regiments of the command claim the honor of first planting their colors on the work; but where all did so well and the difference is so slight I find it impossible to decide who is entitled to it. A portion of General Turner's division came up during the assault and rendered efficient service. Brevet Brigadier-General Harris' brigade, of General Turner's division,