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The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies

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OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 42, Part 1 (Richmond-Fort Fisher)
Page 860 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.

among some ammunition improperly exposed, wounding six men, this soldier, though himself wounded, caught up several shells with burning fuses and extinguished them in a pool of water near by, and this when other shells were bursting around him.

On October 27 the enemy made a simultaneous attack on our lines below Richmond and on our right flank beyond Petersburg. His advance below Richmond was general and in considerable force. It was, however, repelled with comparative ease, the artillery rendering as usual, its share of service. Haskell's and Johnson's battalions operated against the enemy's flanking on our extreme left as far as the Williamsburg and even the Nine-Mile road, and thence across to Charles City road. Hardaway's and Starks' battalions met the direct attack on their front between the Darbytown road and Fort Harrison. On this occasion Lieutenant C. H. Wilkes, commanding Clutter's battery while gallantly discharging his duty, fell at his post mortally wounded. No further attempt has since been made by the enemy on the line north of James River, and the field artillery has remained there, with supporting troops, quietly awaiting such further service as future operations of the enemy may render necessary.

The enemy on October 27 experience on the extreme right below Petersburg as serious reverse as on the left below Richmond. Early in the day, when encountered by the cavalry alone, his numbers proved of avail to advance, gradually pressing back our horsemen to and across the Boydton plank road. Hart's battery, resolutely served, rendered valuable service in checking that advance. Is faithful commander, Captain Hart, received in the engagement a severe wound. Subsequently McGregor's and Graham's batteries effectively co-operated in the combined attack which drove back the enemy in confusion and with a heavy loss. Two of Lieutenant-Colonel Pegram's batteries (Ellett's, under Lieutenant Hollis, and Gregg's) also participated in the sharp conflict on this wing that afternoon, Gregg's battery being partially and Ellett's sharply engaged and contributing to the success of the day. After this signal reverse the enemy for some time attempted no movement of consequence, though skirmishing and shelling were continuously practiced on considerable portions of the lines, and at times with much severity.

On December 7 and extensive raid by a large force of the enemy being in progress along the Weldon railroad, toward Belfield and beyond, our cavalry hastened to arrest the operation, attended by Hart's, McGregor's, and Graham's batteries. Their guns were effectual in repelling the enemy at Hicksford and admonishing him speedily to retrace his steps. Our infantry column, which followed in pursuit of this raiding force, was accompanied by four batteries, under Lieutenant-Colonel Pegram and Major Owen. They were not able to obtain a fair opportunity at the enemy, or more than a slight skirmish, owing to his prompt retreat, and after a tour of seven days' extremely hard service, in severe weather and through roads scarcely passable, returned to camp. This effort closed the campaign. Nothing significant has since transpired.

While the campaign around Richmond and Petersburg had thus progressed to its close, that portion of our army detached under General Early on June 18, and operating mainly in the Valley of Virginia, had been engaged in a series of movements and conflicts of very great importance the artillery performing throughout a conspicuous part. Nelson's and Braxton's battalions (Second Corps), which accompanied the expedition to Lynchburg to meet Hunter, though marching with great


Page 860 OPERATIONS IN SE.VA. AND N.C. Chapter LIV.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 42, Part 1 (Richmond-Fort Fisher)
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