Every so often in my Siege of Petersburg research I run into something which might be a bit of a “find.” I recently obtained page images of the 1873-1874 newspaper version of “Our Living and Our Dead,” a New Bern, North Carolina newspaper edited by Stephen D. Pool. On page 2 of the March 18, 1874 edition of the paper, I was surprised and excited to find an official report from Thomas L. Clingman about the fighting at the Second Battle of Petersburg from June 16-18, 1864. Clingman commanded a brigade in Hoke’s Division, Department of North Carolina and Southern Virginia, during the fighting east of Petersburg. His brigade was composed of the 8th North Carolina, 31st North Carolina, 51st North Carolina, and 61st North Carolina. These men helped hold the town until Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia could come to their rescue. After briefly looking over the report, I realized I wasn’t familiar with it. Sure enough, when I checked Volume 40, Part 1 of the Official Records, I realized the report wasn’t present. I also checked Volume 7 of the Supplement to the Official Records. In that book, there WAS a letter from Clingman describing the June 17 fighting which had been written in late June 1864 and published in the Raleigh Confederate. But it was different than this item. So, I ask my readers, “can YOU find this report somewhere?” Perhaps it was published in one of the other non-Petersburg volumes of the Official Records, or possibly in the Southern Historical Society Papers. In any case, I’m posting the image of the report below, and I plan to transcribe and post this one in its entirety at The Siege of Petersburg Online.
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