Number 48. Petersburg Campaign Report of Lieutenant Simon Pincus, Sixty-Sixth New York Infantry

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

No. 48. Report of Lieutenant Simon Pincus, Sixty-sixth New York Infantry.1

HEADQUARTERS SIXTY-SIXTH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS, September 10, 1864.

SIR: *

FIFTY EPOCH.

On the night of the 12th [June] we silently left the works and moved toward the Chickahominy and crossed the river next day about 9 a. m. and reached the James River at 5 p. m. on the same day, where we encamped. On the evening of the 14th we embarked on boats and crossed to the south side safely and camped until noon on the 15th, when we moved in the direction of Petersburg and came in sight of the city at daybreak on the 16th. At 8 a. m. we moved to the left. Part of the regiment was sent out as skirmishers, under command of Major Nelson; Colonel Hammell was field officer of the day. Shortly after two commissioned officers and ten men were sent to guard our skirmish flank. Next morning the left of the line was advanced. About noon we were relieved by the Fifth Corps, ;having lost about 5 men. After drawing rations, we joined the brigade about a mile to the right, where were remained until 6 p. m., when we received orders that the line in front were to charge, and we were to follow up and occupy their line of works. In a few minutes we were ordered forward, and when we reached the first line of works, laid behind them. The front not having moved forward yet, Colonel Broady, of the Sixty-first, ordered our men forward. He being in the first line of works, should have moved forward according to orders, but instead he ordered his men to fix bayonets to drive us forward. When Colonel Hammell gave the command the regiment started on with a cheer, and carried the enemy’s works. We remained there until 9 p. m., when the enemy charged on the works and we, being out of ammunition, had to retreat, but not before they were on top of the works. We lost Colonel Hammell, Major Nelson, Lieutenant Herzberg, Lieutenants Nelson and Turbayne, with 27 men prisoners. Lieutenant Bullis was killed and several men were killed and wounded. Next morning we advanced, but the enemy evacuated the works during the night. We advanced about a mile, when we sent one officer and thirty men picket support. At night we threw up works. The pickets were relieved on the night of the 19th, having lost 2 men killed and 1 wounded.

On the 20th the Ninth Army Corps relieved us, and we were moved to the rear. Next day (21st) we were moved to the left as far as the Williams house, near the Weldon railroad, and got into position near

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* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from May 4 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.420.

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dark, and threw up works in several places. At noon next day we were moved forward, got into line; the regiment was ordered out on the skirmish line. We had scarcely got deployed when the enemy [flanked] us and got into our rear. Captain Davis, then commanding the regiment, ordered every man to take care of himself. We then retreated to the works thrown up the day before, where we checked the enemy. Captain Davis was wounded and taken prisoner. Lieutenant Newman was wounded, and about 20 men killed, wounded, or missing. We then pitched tents behind the works. There being but two officers and forty men left, we were temporarily consolidated with the Sixty-fourth, under command of Captain (now Colonel) Glenny. We staid there until July 10.

On June 27 Lieutenant Lane, a citizen appointed by Governor Seymour, joined us. He being a first lieutenant, ranked us present, and assumed command of the regiment.

On July 10 we moved to the left; moved out on the Jerusalem plank road and returned the next day at 3 a. m., and moved back toward the direction of Petersburg, which place we reached about noon the 13th, and went into camp.

On the 26th we broke camp and moved to the right, crossed the Appomattox and the James Rivers. We then threw up works near New Market hill, where the enemy were strongly intrenched.

On the night of the 29th we recrossed the James River and came within sight of Petersburg at daybreak in time to hear the explosion of the mine. At night we moved into our old camp.

Very respectfully,

S. PINCUS,

Lieutenant, Commanding Sixty-sixth New York Volunteers.

Lieutenant D. S. FOUSE,

Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

Source:

  1. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XL, Part 1 (Serial Number 80), pages 356-357

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