Number 61. Petersburg Campaign Report of Captain Joseph W. Spaulding, Nineteenth Maine Infantry

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

No. 61. Report of Captain Joseph W. Spaulding, Nineteenth Maine Infantry.1

HEADQUARTERS 19TH MAINE VOLUNTEERS, August 9, 1864.

SIR: *

V.

Crosed the Chickahominy River at Long Bridge June 13, and reached Charles City Landing on the morning of June 14; crossed the James River at 4 p. m., and bivouacked for the night.

June 18, was temporarily attached to the Third Division, and formed the extreme right of the assaulting column. Advanced under a destructive cross-fire until the turnpike was gained. Then the regiment performed the duty of holding the entire flank of the Third Division for two hours against the spirited attempts of the enemy’s skirmishers to dislodge it from its new position. The advance of troops belonging to the Sixth Army Corps subsequently relieved the regiment, after which it rejoined the brigade and participated in the attack upon the enemy’s inner line of works. It was finally relieved from duty in the immediate front of Petersburg on the evening of June 20, and on the following day marched with the corps several miles to the left and acted during the afternoon of this day as a support to the skirmish line near the Jerusalem plank road.

At 3 a. m. June 22 advanced to the skirmish line, and commenced throwing up earth-works under a destructive fire. Occupied this line until about 2 p. m., when the troops on the left were discovered to be falling back. It was impossible to change front in that position, as the enemy in our old front would have an enfilading fire of artillery and infantry on our line. The regiment held its position until the enemy were close upon its left flank and rear, when it was compelled to retire, losing heavily in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The regimen was then placed on the left of the line, which was immediately formed to retake the battery and works lost. Advanced twice with that line upon the enemy. The casualties this day were very numerous. The colors fell three times, the bearers who successively bore them being shot dead.

June 23, rejoined the brigade and occupied the advanced lines during the day and night. Was relieved on the following day. From that time until July 26 was engaged chiefly in picket and fatigue duty.

July 26, marched from camp at 4 p. m., and, with the corps, marched all night, arriving at and crossing the James River at Deep Bottom early in the morning of July 27.  Was soon after deployed as skirmishers, and advancing nearly a mile through the woods met and engaged the enemy.  Was relieved and rejoined the brigade after dark. The two following days the regiment did not meet the enemy, but was engaged in building breast-works and throwing up earth-works.

On the evening of July 29 the regiment, with the division, marched back across the river, and marching all night arrived in front of Petersburg on the following morning. It did not participate in the fight of this day. At night moved back to its old camp.

I am, captain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. W. SPAULDING,

Captain, Commanding Regiment.

Captain J. E. CURTISS, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General.

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* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations form May 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.440.

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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), page 372

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