Numbers 309. Report of Brigadier General Johnson Hagood, C. S. Army, commanding Hagood's brigade, of operations June 16-24.
HEADQUARTERS HAGOOD'S BRIGADE, HOKE'S DIVISION, July 15, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I am instructed to report the operations of my brigade on the 16th, 17th, and 18th ultimo:
On the evening of the 15th about dark my brigade arrived at Petersburg by the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad, and I was at General Beauregard's headquarters reporting for orders when a courier announced that the enemy had carried the defenses from Numbers 3 to Numbers 7, inclusive, and that our troops were retreating. I was ordered to move out immediately upon the City Point road and take a position to cover that approach to the city, and upon which a new defensive line could be taken. It was after dark, and being unacquainted with the country, and unable to learn much from the confused and contradictory accounts of the volunteer guides who accompanied me, I halted my command at the junction of the City Point and Prince George roads and rode forward myself to reconnoiter the country. With the aid of a map opportunely sent me by Colonel Harris, chief of engineers, I finally determined upon the line of the creek which empties into the Appomattox in rear of Numbers 1, and the west fork of which crosses the line near Numbers 15, and established my command upon it.
General Colquitt's brigade and the other brigades arriving shortly afterward were established in succession upon this line, General Hoke having approved the selection, and by daylight the position was partially intrenched. Colonel Tabb's regiment, of Wise's brigade, held the lines from Numbers 1 to Numbers 2, and was relieved by one of my regiments (Twenty-seventh South Carolina). This made by line in echelon, with the echelon thrown forward on the left. Discovering this at daylight, and that this portion of the line was completely enfiladed by the guns of the enemy established at Numbers 7, I withdrew this regiment also to the west side of the creek. The new line now held by our forces was the chord of the arc of the abandoned works. I also brought in and sent to the ordnance officer two field pieces, spiked, that had been abandoned by our troops the day before. The enemy shelled our position furiously during the day and the skirmishers were constantly engaged. They ostentatiously formed for battle several times during the day beyond musketry range, there being no artillery on our portion of the line, and about dark a feeble effort at assault was made upon my center, none getting nearer than seventy-five yards to our line. It was kept up for an hour or more, but they were kept at bay without trouble and finally retired. Captains Hopkins and Palmer and Adjutant Gelling, of the Twenty-seventh Regiment, were killed by the same shell, and several enlisted men were killed and wounded during the day. Lieutenant Allemong was wounded and has since died. I grieve to add the names of these gallant officers to the bloody record of the last two months. In this short time the best and bravest of my command have been laid beneath the soil of Virginia.
On the 17th nothing occurred with me except pretty heavy shelling from the enemy. Having no artillery to reply to them, their practice was very accurate and inflicted some loss upon us. Our earth-works were diligently strengthened and assumed a respectable profile.
51 R R-VOL XL, PT I