War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0366 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LII.

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No. 59. Reports of Major General John Gibbon, U. S. Army, commanding Second Division.


SIR: *

On the night of the 12th [June] the division was withdrawn; marched all night; crossed the Chickahominy. The next day, after marching till late at night, took up a position near Charles City Court-House. The next day and night was occupied in crossing the James at Wind-Mill Point by steamers, and the day after (15th) ant 12 m. we took up our march toward Petersburg.


The division reached the vicinity of General Smith's line in front of Petersburg very late at night, and it was between 2 and 3 a. m. on the 16th before it was placed in position, relieving a portion of his troops extending from the ravine near the Friend house to the Prince George Court-House road, commenting on the left with Birney's division. Skirmishing was going on all night and the next day.

On the 17th the enemy's line was driven in whilst the attack by a portion of the corps was being made on our left, and a portion of the division advanced across the creek in our front.

On the morning of the 18th the division advanced to the assault at 4 o'clock in two lines, the first composed of the First Brigade, under command of Colonel (now Brigadier General) B. R. Pierce, and the Second Brigade, under command of Colonel John Frase, One hundred and fortieth Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteers; the second line Smyth's brigade, supported by Frank's brigade, of the First Division, all on the right of the Prince George Court-House road. The enemy having fallen back the division was pushed ahead, but soon came upon a strong line of works, on which (Smyth's brigade being deployed to the right) two ineffectual assaults were made with heavy loss, Brigadier General Pierce and Colonel Ramsey being wounded. Later in the day another assault was made by Mott's division on the left of the road, Fraser's brigade being sent to assist in it.

The line was intrenched during the 19th and 20th, and that night the division was withdrawn and moved to the left and rear, and the next morning moved to a position on the left of the Jerusalem plank road, connecting on the right with the Fifth Corps and on the left with Mott's division, Barlow's being on his left. The division was intrenched in two lines in front of the enemy's works, Pierce's and the Second Brigade, now under command of Major O'Brien, One hundred and fifty-second Regiment New York Volunteers, being in the front line, Pierce on the right, and Smyth and the Fourth Brigade, now under command of Colonel Blaisdell, Tenth [Eleventh] Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers, in the second. During the night McKnight's (Twelfth New Jersey [York]) battery was placed in position on the right of the Second Brigade.

About 3 p. m. on the 22nd the enemy made an attack on Barlow and Mott. The troops on my left gave way without much firing, and the first thing my Second Brigade knew of the approach of the enemy in


* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p. 429.