Number 73. Petersburg Campaign Report of Colonel Theodore G. Ellis, Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry

   

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in Part 1 (Serial Number 80)

No. 73. Report of Colonel Theodore G. Ellis, Fourteenth Connecticut Infantry.1

WASHINGTON, D. C., August 9, 1864.

GENERAL: *

A little after dark upon the 12th [June] our regiment, with the rest of the corps, left Cold Harbor and commenced our march toward the south side of Richmond. We reached Charles City Court-House, upon the James River, after marching uninterruptedly that night and all the next day and until 10 o’clock in the night of the 14th.

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* For portion of report (here omitted) covering operations from June 3 to June 12, 1864, see Vol. XXXVI, Part I, p.458.

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Upon the 15th marched toward Petersburg, near which place we arrived at about 10 p. m.

Early on the morning of the 16th the skirmishers of our brigade advanced upon the enemy, driving their skirmishers back for upward of a quarter of a mile, and obtaining a much better position, besides capturing about 50 prisoners. Our loss was very small. Private John Geatley, Company A, in this advance, captured 3 armed rebels and brought them in as prisoners, with an unloaded gun. In the afternoon, upon the skirmish line, the same man wounded two rebels, one of them apparently fatally.

Upon the 17th of June our brigade was moved to the left, with instructions to support General Barlow’s division. At night we were instructed to advance our line nearer to the enemy’s position. The regiment did this in good style, moving forward through a dense and thickly wooded swamp, driving in the enemy’s skirmishers and taking up a position about fifty yards in front of their line and opening upon them an effective fire. We held this position for two or three hours, when, owing tot he failure of troops upon the left to connect, we were ordered by our brigade commander to withdraw. At the time when this advance was made a detail of some thirty men was absent drawing rations, leaving but about 120 men to go forward. Our loss was only 1 killed and 4 wounded. On the following morning our brigade was massed for a charge, the Fourteenth being placed in the second line. Upon advancing it was found that the enemy had evacuated the line of works in our front, falling back to a stronger position. Upon both of-these occasions the conduct of officers and men was excellent.

Since June 17 our regiment has not been engaged with the enemy, though 1 or 2 men have been wounded by the enemy’s sharpshooters, and we have twice been shelled by their batteries. We have, however, borne an efficient part in constructing the works and in the various siege operations which will yet give us Petersburg and render the rebel capital untenable. We number now about 14 officers and 160 men, having been somewhat increased in strength by the return of men from hospital, exchanged prisoners, &.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THEODORE B. ELLIS,

Colonel Fourteenth Connecticut Volunteers.

Brigadier General H. J. MORSE,

Adjutant-General State of Connecticut.

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 383-384

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