Numbers 154. Reports of Bvt. Major General John F. Hartranft, U. S. Army, commanding Third Division, of operations February 5-10 and March 25.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, NINTH ARMY CORPS,
February 13, 1865.
COLONEL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by my command in the late movement on the left, in the vicinity of Hatcher's Run:
In obedience to orders received near 3 p.m., 5th instant, I moved my command as soon as possible, the whole division being on the march in light order by 4 p.m. At 8 p.m. I reported to Major-General Humphreys, commanding Second Army Corps, some two miles down the Vaughan Road from Fort Siebert, with my command in good order, having made the march very rapidly, and, as I believe, without a straggler. General Humphreys placed me in position on his immediate right, with orders to entrench myself during the night; my right rested a few rods in front of the Claypole house, the left on a wide, impenetrable swamp which covered the right of the Second Corps, the general direction of my line being nearly north and south. At daylight on the 6th instant the command had a good line of works 1,000 yards in length, joined on the right by a line constructed by the First Division, Sixth Army Corps. Near 10 a.m. I received orders from General Humphreys to send out a regiment on a reconnaissance, with instructions to move by way of the Smith and Hawks houses, and ascertain, if possible, the position and force of the enemy outside of their main works with the view of attacking him in force if found. I ordered out the Two hundredth Pennsylvania Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel McCall, commanding, under charge of Captain Watts, one of my staff officers, who was well acquainted with the various roads in the vicinity as well as the position of the enemy's main line. This officer soon reported that there was no enemy in my front outside of their works, except the usual pickets, who occupied their customary pits, when, in obedience to orders from General Humphreys, the party were ordered to return to the division. At 2 p.m. I received orders to at once relieve General Wheaton's division of the Sixth Corps from the line on my right, and hold the extended works from my present left to the vicinity of Fort Cummings. By placing my reserve regiments on the line, I still had a reasonably strong one. Large details were immediately sent out to slash the timber in front.
February 7, the slashing was continued with all the available axes. At 1 p.m. I received orders to hold 1,500 men in readiness to move promptly to the support of Major-General Warren, Fifth Corps, in the event of its being absolutely necessary. I ordered Colonel Diven, commanding a First Brigade, to call in all details and hold his brigade ready to move promptly in answer to such a call, the axes in his possession being transferred to the Second Brigade, which sent out an additional detail to keep them occupied.
February 8,9 and 10 were occupied in opening and building roads. At 7 p.m., 10th instant, I received orders from General Humphreys, relieving my command from duty with the Second Army Corps. The command moved at 8 o'clock, reaching camp between 11 and 12 o'clock the same night.