War of the Rebellion: Serial 095 Page 1242 N. AND SE.VA., N.C., W.VA., MD., AND PA. Chapter LVIII.

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readiness to march at sunset the 27th of March, 1865. The Tenth and Twenty-eighth U. S. Colored Troops, with the two first-mentioned regiments, composed the Third Brigade, the two latter regiments remaining on the old line on the north bank. At precisely sunset I marched with my command-the Twenty-ninth and Thirty-first U. S. Colored Troops-to Varina Landing, there forming a junction with the balance of the division, continuing the march throughout the night. The morning found us in the vicinity of the defenses around Petersburg. The moving of troops and the activity of the entire army convinced me at once that we were to take a part in what resulted in the last great struggle for the overthrown of Lee's army. Resting six hour, we continued our march toward the left of our line till tale on the 28th ultimo, when we halted near Robertson's. The 29th and 30th we still continued moving toward the left of our lines, and finally halted and took position beyond Hatcher's Run, deployed and connecting with General Foster's division, Twenty-fourth Corps, on his right, and Colonel Dandy's brigade on his left. I at once ordered a strong skirmish line to connect with Foster and Dandy. The enemy's line retreated after a few shots, and the line was established. Under the direction of an engineer a line of works was at once constructed so as to connect the important points, thickly wooded, the clearing being very much expose to the shells from the guns of the enemy. In this position the troops rested for the night without interruption, except the picket-firing, which was kept up throughout the night.

The morning of the 31st ultimo the enemy's skirmish line advanced a few rods, seemingly intent on regaining the lost ground in my front. I immediately ordered the Twenty-ninth Regiment, Colonel Royce commanding, forward, deployed to support the line and drive the enemy back. This regiment moved forward handsomely and took the position ordered, but the skirmish line maintained their position. The entire day was occupied in keeping the enemy in their main works, which was done principally by the skirmish line and sharpshooters, under the command of Captain Porter, of the Twenty-ninth Regiment. His line advanced to within a few feet of the enemy's abatis, and kept up such an accurate fire that they dare not show their heads on their line. At night-fall my command was relieved by the First Brigade, Second Division. I retired under cover and encamped for the night.

On the afternoon of the 1st of April was ordered back on the old line to relieve a brigade of the Sixth Corps. On the morning of the 2nd instant, at 4 o'clock, was ordered forward in haste, as the enemy was evacuating; moved on speedily as possible through the enemy's main line; advanced and took position near Fort Gregg, supporting a battery by the Thirty-first Regiment, Colonel Ward commanding. This regiment, although exposed to the enemy's fire of solid shot, took their position with the greatest coolness. the enemy's guns in the immediate vicinity of Fort Gregg being silenced, the battery advanced without support and the Thirty-first retiring to former position. At 3 o'clock moved to the right around Fort Gregg, and took position near Budd's residence. At this point the One hundred and sixteenth U. S. Colored Troops, Lieutenant-Colonel Laird commanding, belonging to First Brigade, reported to me. I assigned him to position on my left and connecting with General Turner's command. My line was ordered forward to get a more favorable position. The skirmish line advanced, and without any resistance the enemy's line retired to their main works. At this point I connected with Colonel Doubleday, commanding Second Brigade, on his right, and was exposed to a shell fire from