BTC Notes: A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers

   

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Note: The BTC Notes series serves as a way to gather important information about a given source on the Siege of Petersburg like a book, article, essay, map, etc.

A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers by Surgeon William ChildSubject: A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers by William Child

Important Points:

Note:

  • Earlier chapters do not discuss the Siege of Petersburg and were not consulted for the purposes of this research.

Chapter 22: Review of Situation — Rejoining the Second Corps— Cold Harbor— Night March—Panic Threatened—Crossing the Chickahominy— Crossing the James — March to Petersburg— In Battle—Colonel Hapgood Wounded—Recapitulation.

  • 5th New Hampshire was involved in the assault on Confederate lines at the Battle of Petersburg on June 16, 1864.  Colonel Charles E. Hapgood was wounded around 6:30 pm that evening.1

Chapter 23: South of the James — Siege of Petersburg— Deep Bottom — Ream’s Station—Reports and Order—Details of the Siege —Discharge of Original Men.

  • Major James E. Larkin took command of the 5th NH after Colonel Hapgood was wounded on June 16, 1864.2
  • 5th NH lost 40 men killed and wounded in the attack of June 16, 1864.  The First Brigade was on the right of the division line in this attack.3
  • 5th NH lost 29 men killed and wounded in the attack of June 17, 1864.  The 5th NH was on the left of the brigade and the entire division in this attack.4
  • 5th NH lost 5 men in skirmishing on June 18, 1864.5
  • 5th NH lost only 3 men at the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road on June 22, 1864, and so must not have been seriously engaged.6
  • 5th NH was involved in attacks on July 27/28, 1864 during the First Deep Bottom operation.7
  • “Early in the morning of the 1st day of June the line of march was taken up and, in the afternoon of the same day, the regiment, commanded by Colonel Charles E. Hapgood, and mustering twenty-seven commissioned officers and about 550 enlisted men…”8
  • The 5th NH was involved in the Second Deep Bottom operation from August 13-20, 1864.  They did  not participate in the fighting on August 14, 1864, but were on the skirmish line on August 16, Captain Ricker commanding the men in action.  The 5th was back in its camps for only a brief time on August 21 before ordered to Reams Station to the southwest.9
  • The 5th NH’s participation in the Second Battle of Ream’s Station is detailed.  Major Larkin was still in command and the 5th NH lost 23 men killed and wounded.10
  • The 5th NH was the lone Union infantry regiment in the force which pursued Hampton’s Confederate Cavalry late in the Beefsteak Raid from September 16-18, 1864.11
  • On October 10, 1864, the regiment was placed in front of Fort McGilvray, with the regiment’s right on the Appomattox River.12
  • On October 12, 1864 the 5th New Hampshire’s three year term of service was up.  Officers and men who had served their terms and not reenlisted were free to go.  As a result, the 5th NH became the 5th NH Battalion and consisted of eight companies.13
  • The regiment moved into Fort Stedman on October 15, 1864.14

Chapter 24: Change of Name — Promotions — The Siege Continued — At Fort Stedman — Change of Location — Thanksgiving — In Fort Welch — Re-enforcements — The New Year — Months of Hard Work — Fall of Richmond — Surrender of Lee.

  • On October 12, 1864 the regiment became a battalion to the discharge of three year men who had not reenlisted.  Lt. Colonel Welcome A. Crafts became the regimental commander on this day as well.15
  • For almost a month affter October 15, 1864, the 5th NH was in Fort Stedman.16
  • During the Sixth Offensive in late October, the 5th NH extended its lines to hold the trenches from Fort Morton to the Appomattox River.17
  • On November 30, 1864, the 5th NH was moved into Fort Welch, much further left down the line.  In addition, the two companies of New Hampshire Sharpshooters which had formerly been a part of the 2nd U.S. Sharpshooters (F,G), arrived and were “absorbed into the battalion”.18
  • The 5th NH did not see any fighting and did not participate in the Battle of Hatcher’s Run on February 5-7, 1865.  The author goes on to say nothing major happened until the final offensive in March 1865.19
  • The 5th NH participated in some fighting and had some casualties on March 31, 1865.20
  • The Appomattox Campaign is covered on pages 294-295.

Unit Strengths

  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: 550 enlisted men and 27 officers, 577 total, present for duty on June 1, 1864 when the regiment joined the Army of the Potomac at Cold Harbor.21
  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: ~450 men on September 5, 1864.22  (BTC Editor’s Note: If we start with 125 men, add back the 23 men killed and wounded at Reams Station on August 25, and assume a few more casualties from ten or so days in the trenches, the 5th New Hampshire probably had around 150 or so men at Second Ream’s Station.)
  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: ~112 “rifles” on August 12, 1864 at the beginning of the Second Deep Bottom operation.23
  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: ~50 “muskets left for duty” the day after Second Ream’s Station.24

Unit Armament

  • None found in the text.

Unit Commanders:

  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: Colonel Charles E. Hapgood was in command on June 15 and 16, 1864 at the start of the Petersburg Campaign prior to being wounded on the evening of the 16th.25
  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: Major James E. Larkin took command of the 5th NH after Colonel Hapgood was wounded on June 16, 1864.26
  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: Lt. Colonel Welcome A. Crafts27
  • 5th NH, 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: Lt. Colonel Welcome A. Crafts was in command on December 31, 1864.28
  • 1st Brig, 1st Div, Second Corps, AotP: Brevet Brig. General George N. Macy was in command as of December 31, 1864.29

Sources:

  1. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 256
  2. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 261
  3. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 261
  4. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 262
  5. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 262
  6. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 263
  7. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 268
  8. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 270
  9. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, pages 275-277
  10. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, pages 278-279
  11. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, pages 282-283
  12. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 285
  13. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 285
  14. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 286
  15. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 289
  16. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 289
  17. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 290
  18. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, pages 291-292: It seems that even with the arrival of the sharpshooters, the 5th NH remained a battalion.
  19. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 293
  20. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 294
  21. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 270
  22. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 280: “three hundred twenty-five recruits were received for the regiment, making it about four hundred fifty strong.”
  23. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 286: This strength is taken from Adjutant Elias H. Marston’s account of Deep Bottom and Ream’s Station.  Is he referring only to enlisted men and not officers when he says 112 “rifles”?  Based on other evidence, it appears this might be the case.
  24. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 288: This strength is taken from the diary of a soldier in the regiment.  It should be noted that in the time immediately following a battle the number of men able to be placed on the firing line was often much lower than the PFD strength.  It also appears this soldier is omitting officers.
  25. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 256
  26. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 261
  27. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 289: Crafts was promoted from Captain to Lt. Col. and placed in charge of the 5th NH (now a battalion after reorganization) on October 12, 1864.
  28. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, page 293
  29. A History of the Fifth Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers, pages 292-293

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