HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, SECOND ARMY CORPS,
March 25, 1865 - 12.30 p. m.
Major H. H. BINGHAM:
MAJOR: I think the most practicable place for the attack, if one is ordered, will be near the Watkins house. At that place the advance is the nearest. General McAlister reports the works in his front well filled with men; General De Trobriand, that the line in his front at the time of the reconnaissance was very thin; since, troops have been brought from their right, and now they have a strong line, I think it possible to carry their works, but the probabilities are decreasing rapidly. McAllister has captured a part of the picket-line in his front, with a number of prisoners,
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[46.] Brevet Major-General.
HEADQUARTERS NINTH ARMY CORPS, Numbers 3.
March 26, 1865.
At 4 a. m. on March 25 instant the enemy, having massed three divisions in front of Fort Stedman, in the lines of the Third Brigade, First Division, of this corps, by a sudden rush broke the picket-line, and after a gallant defense by the garrison of Fort Stedman overpowered it and gained possession of the fort and a portion of the parapet on either side. He then assaulted Fort Haskell and Battery 9, but was repulsed with mych loss. He attempted to advance toward the railroad but was speedily checked, and the First Brigade, Third Division, coming up, he was forced back to the front. From thence he was soon driven by a charge of the Third Division and the Second and Third Brigades, First Division, with the loss of many killed and wounded, 1,949 prisoners, including 71 commissioned officers and 9 stand of colors, and the entire line seized by him was reoccupied. The major-general commanding congratulates the corps on this auspicious result. It will be a source of pride to him and them that so heavy and desperate an attack upon their line was repelled by them before the arrival of the supprts promptly and cordially furnished from the other corps. The gallantry and steadiness of the troops engaged, which so brilliantly retreived a momentary disaster and converted it into a victory, merit and receive his warmest gratitude and commendation. The artillery in position bearing on the line held by the enemy, and the rserve batteries under the personal supervision of Brevet Brigadier-General Tidball, chief of artillery, did prompt and very efficient service, and inflicted severe damage upon the enemy. To Brigadier General J. F. Hartranft, commanding Third Division, who has charge of the assault, great credit is due, and his division is specially congratulated on the distinguished success which their good conduct has met with in this their first engagement. The steadiness and courage of the troops upon the flanks of Fort Stedman, who held their psition despite the breaking of their line, are deserving of great praise, and the major-general commanding takes occasion to impress upon the corps the lesson enforced by the example of their brave comrades of the First Division that a line broken is not carried, and that by prompt rallying and tenaciously holding the position so flanked the enemy may be made to pay dearly for his temerity.
John G. PARKE,
[46.] Major-General, Commanding.