War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0316 N. AND SE. VA., N. C., W. VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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March 25, 1865.

GENERAL: The enemy attacked my front this morning at about 4.30, with three divisions, under command of General Gordon. By a sudden rush they seized the line held by the Third Brigade, First Division, at the foot of the hill to the right of Fort Stedman, wheeled, and overpowering the garrison, took possession of the fort. They established themselves on the hill, turning our guns upon us. Our troops on either flank stood firm. Soon after a determined attack was made on Fort Haskell, held by part of McLaughlen's brigade, Willcox's division, and was repulsed with great loss to the enemy. The First Brigade, of Hartranft's division, held in reserve, was brought up, and a check given to any farther advance. One or two attempts to retake the hill were made, and were only temporarily successful until the arrival of the Second Brigade, when a charge was made by that brigade, aided by the troops of the First Division on either flank, and the enemy were driven out of the fort with the loss of a number of prisoners, estimated at about 1,600; 2 battle-flags have also been brought in. The enemy also lost heavily in killed outside of our lines. The whole line was immediately reoccupied, and the guns retaken uninjured.

I regret to add that General McLaughlen was captured in Fort Stedman. Our loss was otherwise not heavy.

Great praise is due to General Hartranft for the skill and gallantry displayed in handling his division, which behaved with great spirit in this its first engagement.



Bvt. Major General A. S. WEBB,

Chief of Staff.


April 20, 1865.

COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the operations of my command in the action of March 25 ultimo:

The line held by this corps extended from the Appomattox on the right, with pickets stretching some three miles down the river, to Fort Howard on the left, a distance of about seven miles. The line was occupied by the First Division, Bvt. Major General O. B. Willcox, commanding, extending from the Appomattox to Fort Meikel, and the Second Division, Bvt. Major General R. B. Potter commanding, extended from Fort Meikel to Fort Howard. The Third Division, Brigadier General J. F. Hartranft commanding, was held in reserve, its right regiment being posted near the Dun House Battery, and it s left regiment between Forts Hays and Howard. The intrenchments held by Willcox's division and the First Brigade of Potter's, were very nearly as placed when the positions were originally gained by our troops, under fire, and in so close proximity to the that the work was necessarily very defective. This was especially the case with Fort Stedman, where our line crossed the Prince George Court-House road. This is a small work without bastions, with Battery Numbers 10 immediately adjoining, the battery open in the rear, and the ground in rera of fort nearly as high as its parapet. The opposing lines are here about 150 yards apart, the picket-lines about fifty yards. This portion of the line was held by the Third Brigade, First Division, Bvt. Brigadier General N. B. McLaughlen commanding.