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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 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
Page 1174 N. AND SE. VA., N.C., W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

On the 1st of April a battery was put on Turner's line, taking in reverse a portion of the enemy's line on the south side of Hatcher's Run and in front of the Second Corps. Every arrangement was made for an assault in the morning to co-operate with the Sixth and Ninth Corps on our right. Birney's division, of the Twenty-fifth Corps, was placed under my orders on the 30th, and occupied a portion of our line.

At daylight on the 2nd all our preparations were made for assault, two brigades each of Turner's Foster's divisions being massed in rear of our line. At 6.50 a.m. an order was received from Major-General Ord directing me to send all my available force to the support of the Sixth Corps, which had broken through the enemy's line near Fort Welch. I at once ordered the whole of Foster's division and two of Turner's brigades to move to the right, and almost immediately afterward Harris' brigade, of Turner's division, carried the enemy's line in front of them, and, pushing forward Birney's division, we occupied the enemy's line and met the Sixth Corps coming down from the right, sweeping everything before them. Harris' brigade was now pushed up toward Petersburg, followed by that portion of the Sixth Corps which had come down the line and by Birney's division. On reaching the vicinity of Fort Welch, where the Sixth Corps had broken through, I found Foster already in line of battle perpendicular to the enemy's old line and confronting two strong works. Forts Gregg and Baldwin, which the enemy had erected to protect his right of the town. Harris' brigade was formed on Foster's left, and as soon as they arrived Turner's two other brigades were formed in rear of Foster. As the Sixth Corps came up it went into position, two divisions on my left and one on my right, and as soon as they reached within supporting distance Foster's line was ordered to charge the works in its front. The troops moved steadily and rapidly forward, under a very heavy fire of both artillery and musketry, and gained Fort Gregg, to find it surrounded by a deep, wide ditch partially filled with water and flanked by a fire from both right and left. Turner's two brigades were pushed rapidly up in support from the second line, whilst Harris at the same time rushed against Fort Baldwin. The enemy made a most desperate resistance, and it was not until Fort Gregg was almost entirely surrounded and our brave men had succeeded in climbing upon the parapet under a most murderous fire, that the place was finally taken by the last of several determined dashes with the bayonet, Harris and a portion of the First Division at the same time carrying Fort Baldwin. This assault, certainly one of the most desperate of the war, succeeded by the obstinate courage of our troops, but at a fearful cost. Fifty-five of the enemy's dead were found inside Fort Gregg, whilst my own loss during the operations of the day, most of which occurred around these two forts, was 10 officers and 112 men killed and 27 officers and 565 men wounded. We captured 2 pieces of artillery, several colors, and about 300 prisoners.

On the 3rd the corps marched toward Burke's Station, reaching that point, distance fifty-two miles, late on the night of the 5th, and at 11 a.m. the next day resumed the march toward Farmville to head off Lee's forces, which were trying to get round left flank toward Danville. After marching eight or ten miles we came upon the enemy entrenched at Rice's Station, and at once made preparations to attack him, but, before our troops could get into position and drive in the enemy's picket night put an end to the operations, and when we moved forward at daylight the next morning the enemy had gone. We had, however, the satisfaction of knowing that our threatening position


Page 1174 N. AND SE. VA., N.C., W.VA.,MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.
OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 1, vol 46, Part 1 (Appomattox Campaign)
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