War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0706 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

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In the Field, near Petersburg, Va., June 17., 1864.


The general commanding desires to express to his command his appreciation of their soldierly qualities as have been displayed during the campaign of the last seventeen days. Within that time they have been constantly called upon to undergo all the hardships of a soldier's life and be exposed to all of its dangers. Marches under a hot sun have ended in severe battle; after the battle, watchful nights in the trenches gallantly taken from the enemy. But the crowning point of the honor they are entitled to has been won since the 15th instant, when a series of earth-works, on most commanding positions and of formidable strength, have been carried, with all the guns and material of war of the enemy, including prisoners and colors. The works have all been held and the trophies remain in our hands. The victory is all the more important to us, as the troops have never been regularly organized in camp where time has been given them to learn the discipline necessary to a well-organized corps d'armee, but they have been hastily concentrated and suddenly summoned to take part in the trying campaign of our country's being. Such honor as they have won will remain imperishable. To the colored troops comprising the division of General Hinks the general commanding would call the attention of his command, with the veterans of the Eighteenth Corps. They have stormed the works of the enemy and carried them, taking guns and prisoners, and in the whole affair they have displayed all the qualities of good soldiers.

By command of Major-General Smith;


Assistant Adjutant-General

Numbers 263. Report of Major General Edward O. C. Ord, U. S. Army, commanding Eighteenth Army Corps, of operations July 30.


Near Petersburg, August 3, 1864.

GENERAL: In obedience to orders from General Meade (to whom I was ordered to report), the First and Third Divisions of the Eighteenth Corps were,on the night of the 29th of July, placed in the trenches of General Burnside's front, relieving portions of his command as trench guards, that the Ninth Corps might prepare to assault the enemy's line next a.m. The Second Division, Tenth Corps, Brigadier-General Turner commanding, and the Second Division, Eighteenth Corps, Brigadier-General Ames commanding, were placed in rear of General Burnside's corps as reserve supports, and in positions selected by him. Their orders were to await orders, to be sent as soon as the result of the assault next morning by the Ninth Corps could decide where supports might be needed.

About 5 a.m. 30th of July the mine in front of the Ninth Corps was sprung, and I took my position near General Burnside, awaiting the result of his assault, and with an understanding that as soon as his corps could get out General Turner was to follow his [Burnside's] rear division and support it on the right beyond our lines. About 6