War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 0781 Chapter LVIII. THE APPOMATTOX CAMPAIGN.

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Numbers 68. Report of Brigadier General Regis de Trobriand, U. S. Army, commanding First Brigade.


April 14, 1865.

MAJOR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the part taken by the First Brigade, under my command, in the active operations from March 28 last to the evening of the 6th instant, when I assumed command of the division, this report being completed by the report of Colonel Shepherd, who succeeded me in the command of the brigade:

March 29, started at 7 a. m. by the Vaughan road, crossed the Hatcher's Run, and, by order of General Mott, taking a position in reserve along the road near the field where Major-General Meade had his headquarters, sent the Twentieth Indiana on reconnaissance on the left. The regiment did not find the enemy, and the line of battle being moved forward I followed the movement and bivouacked near a line of works abandoned by the enemy, after having filled with two of my regiments, the First Maine Heavy Artillery and the One hundred and tenth Pennsylvania, a gap open in the line of battle between the Second and Third Brigades.

March 30, furnished strong details for repairing the Dabney's Mill road, and laying corduroy work for the passage of the artillery to the front line at J. Crow's house, my position being on the run, with the road in my rear.

March 31, moved before daybreak to the Boydton road, where I was ordered to mass my brigade in support of the First Division. During the morning I was ordered with my command to the support of the Second Division, near J. Crow's house, but soon after was recalled to the Boydton road, where General Miles was engaging the enemy. I followed his advance, occupying first the line of entrenchments vacated by two of his brigades and extending from the swamp in front of the corps headquarters on the left to the Boydton road on the right, where I connected with the Third Brigade. Soon, however, the advance of the First Division having opened a gap between its right and the left of the Third Brigade, Third Division, I moved my command forward to fill it, leaving two regiments to cover the artillery in the breast-works. Our connecting in line of battle with General Miles' right and General McAllister's left was completed under a brisk shelling of the enemy and a light skirmishing with its sharpshooters, losing a dozen men in the movement. At sunset we covered our position with breast-works and bivouacked on the spot.

April 1, before daybreak I was ordered to withdraw my command, our pickets falling back to occupy the works, while the brigade was again massed in the woods behind the line occupied by the Second and Third Brigades, on the right of the Boydton road. After sunset, however, in compliance with orders, I took back my command to the position of the previous evening, extending the line in single file to the left, so as to connect with General Madill, of the First Division. I had completed my connection when, about 10.30 p. m., I received orders from corps and division headquarters to attack the enemy's line and try if I could pierce at some point. Having, therefore, selected the most favorable ground for the attack, I sent forward three regiments - the Seventy third New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Burns), the One hundred and twenty-fourth New York (Lieutenant-Colonel Weygant), and the