War of the Rebellion: Serial 080 Page 0716 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N.C. Chapter LII.

Search Civil War Official Records

that time to the present date. Although the working parties have been much exposed to the enemy's fire, yet such precautions have been taken that hardly a man has been hurt while using the shovel or pick. At daylight on the 24th the batteries of the enemy opened fire with unusual severity. After a furious cannonade of nearly an hour a portion of the rebel General Hoke's command attempted to charge my front. My pickets, obeying orders received, allowed the enemy's skirmishers to occupy my advanced pits. As soon as my pickets were withdrawn my front line, which up to this time had been silent, commenced a rapid and telling fire upon the enemy. The latter found themselves entrapped in my skirmish line, not being able to hold it, neither finding it possible to advance or retreat. Those who attempted to fall back were shot down, those who came forward first threw away their arms in token of surrender. Those who remained were sent for and brought in, either as wounded or prisoners. Hardly a man escaped. One captain and 60 enlisted men were brought to the rear by members of any own brigade, while more than 100 others, who after surrendering passed around to my right seeking an entrance, were taken by the next brigade.

That night more than 20 rebel dead were buried by my men in front of my lines. My own loss in the whole affair was trifling. The same evening I commenced the placing of an abatis before my front lines and continued this work on successive evenings till finished. The only delay in this labor was caused by the slowness with which the necessary materials arrived and the occasional fire of the enemy on my working parties. I afterward caused a ditch to be dug between the pit and abatis, the earth being thrown upon the butts of the latter. While this work was in progress I also projected and commenced a mine leading from my left up the turnpike to a rebel fort. The work upon this has been suspended, owing to the nature of the soil, which requires engineering materials not within my reach. My brigade has, from its first arrival up to the present date, been constantly represented at the front, not more than half of my men having ever been withdrawn at once.

The losses in my brigade during this period have been as follows: 7 enlisted men killed, and 2 officers and 27 enlisted men wounded.

Both the officers and men of my command have exhibited a promptness and alacrity in the performance of duty which has been very gratifying to me, and which I deem worthy of mention. This is especially true of that portion of my brigade which has been daily expecting to go home as veteran volunteers, and which might have been excused in being somewhat impatient of delay.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Colonel, Commanding Brigade.


Actg., Asst. Adjt. General, First Div., Eighteenth Army Corps.


July 31, 1864.

CAPTAIN: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part sustained by my brigade in the operations of July 29 and 30:

At 10.30 p.m. of the 29th my brigade was relieved from the front on the right of the line before Petersburg, and, under the direction of General Burnham, commanding division, was marched to the rear of the Ninth Corps,where, after some delay, it was distributed in the rifle-